It is perfectly understandable that many of us are focussing our attention on the Covid -19 pandemic, and now the black lives matter campaign. But unless we acknowledge that our Government is capitalising on the fact that we have taken our eye off the ball we risk losing our NHS entirely by the time things return to normal.
Our Government is considering future trade agreements with other countries now we are out of the EU. But these trade agreements have the potential to destroy democracy and destroy our NHS. We must divert our attention to the Trade Bill that is currently going through Parliament. This Bill will determine how the UK goes about forming trade deals.
This campaign has written to each of the MPs in East Sussex urging them to consider the impact that trade deals could have on our NHS, particularly any trade agreement with the US.
Make no mistake trade agreements are there to assist big business, not the average man and not the small and medium size enterprise. Trickle down economics is a lie, over recent years we have seen the profits of big business escalate but so too has poverty, inequality and the destruction of our environment. It is not the big business that needs assistance now.
We have received responses from Maria Caulfield and Caroline Ansell the MPs for Lewes and Eastbourne respectively. Both have ensured that they and our Government is committed to keeping our NHS off the table in any trade deal with the USA. But from an online poll we have been conducting we have found that 100% of you believe the NHS will be on the table (and so does Donald Trump) and 90% feel entirely opposed to this.
We are calling on all MPs to demonstrate clearly to their constituents that they will use their votes to support our NHS. We need them to vote in favour of an amendment to keep the NHS out of any trade deal. There are many ways in which trade deals can damage our healthcare service even if technically it is ‘off the table’ It is just not enough to say that they want to keep our NHS off the table.
We are delighted that Stephen Lloyd, the former MP for Eastbourne has provided us with this statement to help put pressure on Caroline Ansell, our current MP, to support this amendment.
Statement urging all MP’s, from across the political divide, to specifically exclude the NHS from any Trade negotiations with the United States of America.
“The British people are right to be concerned about the UK government’s commitment to excluding all parts of our Health Service from any area of negotiation in upcoming trade talks with the US. They recognise there is more to this debate than a Conservative government reiterating the mantra that “the NHS is not for sale”
The public know the devil is in the detail.
For instance, the independent and highly respected medical periodical, The British Medical Journal (BMJ), have expressed concerns that whilst the NHS as a whole may not ‘technically’ be on the table, “there is real potential for an agreement that undermines the UK’s sovereignty over policy decisions, and the government’s ability to determine spending on health and the NHS.“
The BMJ goes on to warn on “proposals that would give the US drug companies greater market access and longer patent protection will result in higher drug prices, and are likely to weaken the UK’s evidence based policy mechanisms.”
And they are crystal clear it would mean; “effectively decrease the UK’s sovereignty over healthcare.“
This is why I join with East Sussex Save the NHS Campaign in asking Mrs Ansell, the MP for Eastbourne & Willingdon, to support an amendment to the Trade Bill. To make plain that the NHS and any part of our Health Service including the availability, efficacy and drug patent regulatory framework within the NHS be excluded, in totality, from any trade negotiations with the USA.
Failure to support such a straightforward amendment will be a clear signal the future of our Health Service is at risk, which is why I urge Caroline Ansell to do the right thing for her constituents and for our NHS – by supporting such an amendment.”
Former MP for Eastbourne.
The MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, sits on the committee which is now scrutinising this Trade Bill. It is vital that she pushes for this committee to produce an amendment that will protect our NHS in trade deals. Please do, if you live in Lewes contact her as soon as possible and urge her to step up and demonstrate her support of the NHS.
We will be sending further emails to each of the MPs in East Sussex and urging them to:-
Recognise their constituents concern about the impact on our NHS of any trade deal with the USA.
Acknowledge that simply saying that the NHS is ‘off the table’ is not satisfactory
Commit to supporting an amendent to keep our NHS out of any trade deals
Please join with us and contact your MP to express your concerns.