The worst of all worlds?

TTIPAccording to David Owen speaking in the last few hours, we need to leave the EU in order to protect the NHS from TTIP. This seems perverse logic at its most extreme as TTIP is still being discussed with the Americans, it is not yet in force and there is still the opportunity to change or indeed stop it, assuming that sufficient focus is applied. Like many other people I don’t support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in its current form as it does indeed seem to leave the NHS open to dominance from the American health sector. However the solution to TTIP is for the UK Government to act in a more robust manner to ensure that if TTIP is to be adopted, that it is designed to protect elements of our culture such as our NHS. The graphic above shows that the agreement is supported to different degrees across the EU and USA. However asking the UK Government to defend the NHS seems to be unlikely because they seem determined to open up the NHS to greater market forces, not greater protection. If we do leave the EU one imagines that our Government will set about some form of agreement with the US as with other nations and the prospect of the NHS being threatened by these agreements seems very high. TTIP is intended to promote trade and multilateral economic growth between the EU and USA, something which in principle should be a good thing. However the nature of the EU referendum debate on both sides has so far been dominated by men and women who have employed many dishonest and deceitful arguments. We need a debate that presents the facts not only of the EU and our role in it, but also that opens up our nations political actions to scrutiny by people whose motives are not guided by strongly held political dogma or the fact that their job or reputation depends on one outcome or another. I personally believe we are better off in a reformed EU, where our nation plays a stronger role than at present, one that in part reflects both our economic strength and our culture of wanting open multilateral relationships. It is this culture that makes the idea of a United States of Europe unattractive. However we cannot blame those in Europe who hold different points of view for using the absence of a counter narrative from taking the opportunity to develop their ideas. It is clear that other smaller nations that are closer to our own point of view, are keen for us to play a stronger role in the EU discussions. Let us not confuse the EU which we have been a member of for many decades with TTIP which is still being discussed. However we need a more open, accessible debate on both the EU and TTIP.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Economics, EU Referendum, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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