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TTIP? Latest EU deal threatens our NHS

(34 Posts)
WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 13:37:43

Heard of TTIP?

I hadn't until this morning when a nice lady pushed a flyer into my hand at the local farmers market.

She wasnt a swivel-eyed loon and neither were the other dozen or so people who were leafletting with her.

TTIP = Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

It sounds quite useful and benign.

Until you look into it and understand that it's a deal that is being negoiated by the EU with the US (so it is a deal that UK will automatically be signed up to) that has very bad consequences for us.

This TTIP will

permit private corporations to sue our Government if it passes laws that could damage those corporations profits. Laws such as the minimum wage or the plain wrappers on cigarette packets

permit US healthcare companies to sue our UK government should our government try to halt NHS privitisation.

TTIP will take even more power away from the democratic process and give it to the EU and private comapnies.

If the EU's recent law banning certain tyoes of vacumn cleaning had you laughing now is the time to stop and start to understand just how our lives are being adversely affected by deals that are being done behind our backs by the EU.

You can find out more at

claig Sat 30-Aug-14 13:51:19

'Heard of TTIP?'

Yes it is very bad and has been kept quiet, negotiations are going on behind closed doors.

The Greens are against it, some parts of UKIP are against it (but I don't know what the official UKIP position on it is yet).

It reduces sovereignty and is a charter for big business to steamroll stuff through.

The French are refusing to sign over the US insistence to make GM food part of it. Hopefully they will be able to hold out and not be bought off by big business.

Don't expect our parties, modernisers or progressives, to do anything about it, apart from the Greens and maybe UKIP.

WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 14:30:33

It seems that UKIP don't have a view on it.

claig Sat 30-Aug-14 14:39:12

SpinFlight is a UKIP supporter on here and is very much against it.
Some UKIP blogs are against it, but I fear that as UKIP grows, ex-Tories and modernisers may join it and then policy might change and lobbyists who have good relations with modernisers might get their way.

I think fracking is like that. I am against fracking but ex-Tories like Roger Helmer are all in favour of it. The great thing about UKIP is that it is a grass roots party and with direct democracy, modernisers may not be able to get their way. But it is too early to tell yet.

edamsavestheday Sat 30-Aug-14 14:39:21

Yes, I'd heard of it and yes, it is terrifying. Will mean we have no control over many areas and is a very real threat to the NHS. Sadly it has been cloaked in a dull name so hiding it from public scrutiny. And our govt. won't protect UK assets like the French will theirs.

claig Sat 30-Aug-14 14:42:15

UKIP North Cornwall blog. The modernisers can't keep good people down.

"Campaign Against The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)

Dave, a 38 Degrees member from Minehead in Somerset says “it’s absolutely essential that we campaign on this”. And tens of thousands of other 38 Degrees members agree - the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is disastrous and together we have to do all that we can to stop it going through as it is. [1]"

claig Sat 30-Aug-14 14:47:25

Natalie Bennett of the Greens doing a great job over this.

Just watch the sheer arrogance of an establishment progressive like Ming Campbell when he argues with Natalie over TTIP

Isitmebut Sat 30-Aug-14 15:03:28

The government NHS I.T. system, meant to link the whole service up, went well over budget and cost what, £18 billion, and was not a success as NO ONE ASKED THE USERS what they wanted - and had to be cancelled, left as was.

The government two aircraft carriers were too large and government messed around changing the spec for what 'type' of flying whirlygigs would use it - and ministers trying to cancel bits of the contract, including one of the carriers, worked out due to the contract, it was cheaper to carry on.

I could go on.

The current government and the one in 2015, even if led by Mr Farage, will have an annual budget over spend of £100 billion and £1.4 trillion of National Debt, so the nation will NEED private sector investment to BUILD nuclear reactors before the light go out and many other projects INCLUDING infrastucture, including schools, hospitals, and homes.

The Private Sector/Business will be only too aware that governments are PANTS at organizing a project from the start, needing to re-spec, or cancel due to 'events', including the General Election cycle.

So what company, with shareholders including pension funds to protect, will undertake a project with incompetent government(s) without cancellation insurance?????

P.S. Even after Labour's Private Finance Initiative disaster, building services hospitals etc on the 'never, never', I think you'll find that only about 5% on the NHS has been 'privatized', but a good EU scare story none the less.

Isitmebut Sat 30-Aug-14 15:34:41

This country with a national budget overspend each year STILL probably TWICE that of France after all our 'cuts' needs EVERY BIT of Private Investment it can get.

The secret in negotiating contracts is know the spec from the start and get THEM to pay up for the deal, rather than the taxpayer through the Ear, Nose & Throat.

“Tony Blair has defended the spread of private finance initiatives under Labour as seven NHS trusts face administration as they struggle to repay large debts from PFI deals.”

“Six other NHS trusts face joining South London Healthcare in "administration" as they have taken on projects viewed by ministers as "unsustainable", it has emerged.”

“South London Healthcare NHS Trust will be the first in the country to be put under the control of a special administrator tasked with securing its finances.”

“The schemes saw private firms building hospitals, leaving the NHS with an annual fee to pay over around 30 years.”

“The total value of the NHS buildings built by Labour under the scheme is £11.4bn. But the bill, which will also include fees for maintenance, cleaning and portering, will come to more than £70bn on current projections and will not be paid off until 2049.”

Some trusts are spending up to a fifth of their budget servicing the mortgages.

“Across the public sector, taxpayers are committed to paying £229bn for hospitals, schools, roads and other projects with a capital value of £56bn.”

WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 16:00:50


Now you're on ground that I do have specialist expertise in.

The aircraft carriers were a stitch up from Day One designed to keep Gordon Brown's constituents in work. They even had to gall to call them Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles in the cynical belief that even if they were white elephants (which they are) you couldn't cancel royally named ships!

As for Govt IT projects - what a disaster. The Govt makes law. The law requires a new IT sustem to adminster it. A private company waltzes in and promises a nice new shiny IT system for a cpuple of quid and you can have it in a fortnight. Several years and several billions later it turns out to be crap and when you threaten to cancel it the private company tells you they will raise the matter with their Chairman who is playing golf with the Minister in charge next week!

Private corporations are already delivering the major infrastructure projects. Don't think that TTIP will change anything there as these coroprations are already screwing the UK rotten on public procurement contracts. It's the initial requirement setting that needs to be more realistic and the delivery by the private sector corporations monitored more closely. You cannot leave the governance role to the private corporation that is supposed to be providing your capability.

Isitmebut Sat 30-Aug-14 17:17:20

WetAugust (nice prophecy by the way) …… rejoice, I agree with everything above, but clearly you are not factoring in a companies problems when committing large sums of money to a business/project..

The bureaucratic, uncompetitive monolith called the EU, as you well know and showed by your vacuum cleaner example, is prone to anti business head-up-bottom decisions - as like any overly bureaucratic entity, everyone employed feels they need to be seen (during their annual appraisal) of doing something, anything – so their regulatory/red tape output, often does not reflect the real need for it.

Companies are aware that in a ‘socialist’ entity called the EU, will be prone to such ‘overweighted’ governance, and whereas a company could analyse a country’s politics/government and decide NOT to invest their money, time and expertise, due to future risk to their company/shareholders – the PROBLEM with trying to do business in a European block of 28 countries, is a company cannot ‘swerve’ the risk of head-up-bum legislation, in an entity where one stupid bit of regulation affects all 28 countries.

Now the EU cannot be expected NOT to issue uncompetitive dictates, so either the EU has to accept that companies are aware they are a businesses ‘risk’ nightmare and protect them against future changes, or U.S. and other country’s businesses should know not to compete/invest in EU, in other than small scale contracts, where the damage limitation to new EU legislation ‘MAY NOT DAMAGE A COMPANY’S HEALTH.

WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 18:07:35


The public sector are led like lambs to the slaughter whenever they attempt to negoiate with private corporations. The private corporations come armed with their team of corporate lawyers, The public sector side has Trevor, the low grade clerk from the Contracts Branch and only if he's available that Thursday.

The private corporations therefore run circles around the public sector. The private corporations take no risk at all. They receive staged payments and if they fail to deliver the public sector just gives them more time to try harder or descopes the requirement. Even if they deliver shite they still get paid a) because the public sector has to pay the company within a few weeks of them submitting their invoice b) and that payment happens before the product is tested and c) the government never sues the private sector for breach of contract and they know that - so they have nothing to fear. The Govt doesn't even blacklist companies that fall short - like the security providers at the London Oylmpics did (and the Army had to step in).

It's a farce at UK national level and it's an outrage at EU level where the amounts in play are huge and where corruption also plays its part.

No prophesy required to know that August is always Wet. Fact.

Isitmebut Sat 30-Aug-14 18:30:11

WetAugust ... of course companies are the more savvy, which is part of the reason every contract has to have competition and some department in central government looking over the Contract - as whether a Minister is business savvy having STARTED/RUN a company, or plucked off the street (or a ship) as 'a person of the people', they still need help and the taxpayer needs protection.

I mean this quote from my link above is financially obscene, I dunno about 'person of the people', the village idiot couldn't have plucked worse figures out of the air.

“Across the public sector, taxpayers are committed to paying £229bn for hospitals, schools, roads and other projects with a capital value of £56bn.”

WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 19:39:35

The whole PPI disaster was just window dressing on credit. We have lovely shiny new hospitals with insufficient nursing and midwifery staff to work in them. PPI was just Govt dogma. It said it would reduce public spending so it just delayed payment by buying it in expensive PPI instalments. Madness

Its the same dogma that is reducing the number of public sector bums on seats but having to replace them with contractors on a thousand pounds a day. It's actually a disgusting and immoral waste of public funds. But that's Labour for you

Viviennemary Sat 30-Aug-14 19:46:07

I loathe the EU. Total sick of them and can't wait for the UK to get out. Banning vacuum cleaners, banning certain types of artists watercolour paint. Hairdriers are next on their hit list I believe.

Isitmebut Sat 30-Aug-14 20:08:38

Wet August ... PFI for years was kept 'off government balance sheet' and was not spent to reduce public spending, as when did they do that and end up passing over a £157 billion spending defict - this was done in the boom years, when spending INCREASED well over 50% from 1997 and the government had over £700 bil a year to spend on something, usually its fat Quangoed self.

Our whole new nuclear reactor energy program from 2003 was meant to be financed by the Private Sector/energy companies, on a type of PFI, getting it back via the bills, but didn't break ground on ONE reactor - and now taking around 10-years to build, with power outages due at the next major winter, the 2015 plan is for 'price controls' for energy companies.

We desperately need outside help to BUILD our energy needs, yet now want to penalize them by ensuring they have to absorb their own commodity price rises, maybe make a loss - how can any company invest on those numb-nut terms?

From 1997 to 2013, the oil price range went from an approx $20 a barrel to $147 a barrel, and here we are at the cusp of a Middle East religious war, across several countries. The cusp of a Russian (hopefully) Cold War when they supply most of Europe's gas. And what are we going to do in 2015 to encourage Energy companies to BUILD OUR NUCLEAR NEEDS, freeze their prices in THAT environment. Duh.

WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 20:22:41

It's time we set priorities. If new sources of energy are required the government should start spending instead of leaving that investment to I think it's EDF in our area that are supposed to be replacing the Severn estuary reactors. I don't see the private sector as the answer to everything. It costs us dearly.

Isitmebut Sat 30-Aug-14 23:11:32

'We' have been setting priorities since the money ran out, mostly running our services day-to-day, but still over spending by 10 new nuclear reactors a year (£100 billion) and although more 'green' energy is being produced (private sector funding), its yield is too small and costs so much a unit.

Other countries like France and Germany have the luxury of reducing nuclear for 'green' as they have far greater capacity than us; France used to have 90% ish nuclear, started reducing it for political ends and now had to stop - but we have a national emergency now, as although politically 'went for nuclear in the mid 2000's, we didn't build any.

FYI re EDF's nuclear reactors, THEY were mandated by Brown to finance/build them, but then asked for government financial help = Miliband Energy Minister stalemate. Cameron on his trip to China secured their investment in your reactors, also talking now about replacing the nuclear (again with EDF) at Bradwell, just down the coast to Clacton.

God knows where that will lead, but as I say, when overspending £100 bil a year on 'essentials' and it looks as if we'll have to 'reboot' the armed forces again, just as we get them on budget, attracting foreign investment to the UK is ESSENTIAL.

WetAugust Sat 30-Aug-14 23:35:44


there's actually plenty of money. It's just being spent on the wrong things. anyone who has worked in the public sector knows that there is huge waste of funds. As an ordinary person you see it all the time when you have the misfortune to have to deal local authorities or central government. for example where's the sense in paying a contractor a thousand pounds a day to do the job of someone who would be permanently employed at about 22,000pa. It is barking

Isitmebut Mon 01-Sep-14 14:53:35

I disagree with you, as most of the 'fat' has gone, the public sector is slimmer than it was, hence our annual overspend has been able to fall fro £157 billion a year, to around a deficit of £100 billion a year without even more pain.

FYI I am not a great fan of using the government debt to GDP ratio, especially as government spending forms a huge portion of GDP in the first place and 1997 looked very different to 2010.

But I saw that even NOW, on a government debt to GDP measure, the UK after reducing the overspend, has a similar ration when Labour called in the IMF to financially bail this country out in 1976.

So which ever way you cut in, there is NOT plenty of money, especially as there are issues like financing our ever aging nation in healthcare and pensions.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 16-Nov-14 18:01:50

Yes, it threatens our NHS, but it also threatens our food, drug and chemical (consumer safety) laws, labelling laws and much more.

claig Sun 16-Nov-14 18:05:46

RawCoconutMacaroon, is GM part of what they want to push on us as well?

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 16-Nov-14 23:12:38

Yes. There is (and has been for years) a huge push towards getting us to accept GMO foodstuffs into Europe (ATM it can be imported but must be labelled as containing GM corn, soy, sugar etc, look at a packet of Reeses pieces (or pretty much any American food import) in the supermarket, and you'll see it on the label).
Recently, as a result of that pressure, GM animal foodstuffs have been allowed into the uk and Europe for the first time. And the animals don't need to be labeled as GM fed.

If you email individual supermarkets and ask, they will tell you their policies on this. Suffice to say organic is the only way to guarantee GM free, but several replied that their suppliers would be able to feed GMO feed to the "cheap" end of their range, but not the finest/best/top quality lines, which gives me the rages.

RawCoconutMacaroon Sun 16-Nov-14 23:13:31

The pressure is on for GM containing imports to the eu/uk to be unlabelled.

Isitmebut Mon 17-Nov-14 00:10:04

RawCoconutMacaroon .... could you please explain how TTIP threatens anything, especially the NHS?

I've asked this question several times, and no one actually seems to know the answer, as all it seems to me is that companies, with their own shareholders to protect, are just looking for stronger protection from governments who just need to THINK before using private Sector companies on what they really want e.g. the NHS IT project, that went several ££billion over budget, as no one ask the USERS what they wanted and the government tried to cancel it.

Regarding the NHS, the problem again is bad GOVERNANCE awarding the contracts to the private sector in the first place, on dodgy terms to the taxpayer - rather than any 'takeover' by the private sector.

Surely private section contracts have some cancel/amendment clauses in them now, including seasonally, a sanity clause (Groucho Marx). lol

Regarding foodstuffs, surely that is again government policy, what they allow into our foods, so what is the difference now versus after a TTIP?

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