Last chance to protect the NHS from Donald Trump

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“Donald Trump Sr. at #FITN in Nashua, NH” by Michael Vadon is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Donald Trump could cause great harm to our healthcare service through trade agreements.  But any trade agreement has the potential to damage our NHS. It is vital we protect the NHS from Donald Trump.

We have been trying for some time to encourage the MPs of East Sussex to support an amendment to the Trade Bill that will allow for parliamentary scrutiny of trade agreements and provide the NHS with protection.

Boris Johnson and over 300 of his Conservative MPs have failed the people of Britain.  The House of Commons voted against an amendment to the Trade Bill that would have protected the NHS.   Parliament voted against an amendment that would have allowed scrutiny of trade agreements.

Future trade agreements, particularly one with the USA, could seriously harm our healthcare services.  Trade agreements can harm our NHS even if it is technically ‘off the table’.  Although the East Sussex MPs all responded to us by saying the NHS will be off the table clearly Donald Trump has other ideas.  All East Sussex MPs in voted against protecting the NHS although they all assured us they were committed to it.

Trade Agreements to allow businesses in one country freedom to trade easily in another country.  They will also reduce import and export tarrifs on goods passing from one country to the next.  But in the case of a US-UK trade deal import and export tarrifs are already very low.  A trade agreement is really only going to help the large corporations, and not the average person.  Some may talk about trickle-down economics and try to convince us that helping these large corporations wil end up helping us all.  But, looking around the UK today we can see many billion pound industries and we can also see their employees on zero-hours contracts with starvation wages.  And, unfortunately we can also see how many of them engage in complex tax avoidance and evasion schemes.

Our Government remains committed to helping  large corporations acrue greater profit.  They ignore the queues at food banks and the children in hospital for malnutrition.  A trade agreement with the USA would involve us reducing down our regulatory standards to those of America which have historically always been much lower than ours.  These regulatory standards exist to protect us all.  They provide us with employment rights, food standards, safety standards and much more.

But as far as the NHS goes a US-UK Trade agreement could result in higher drug prices for the NHS; a deterioration in the employment rights of NHS workers, American Corporations getting hold of patient data and future Governments unable to renationalise our NHS.

Trade agreemnets allow foreign business to sue our Government if they do anything that reduces their profits. Businesses seek financial compensation or Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS).

If a future Government ends a trade agreement the right to seek an ISDS will continue for another 20 years.

Our last chance now is to encourage the House of Lords to amend the Trade Bill.  The House of Lords will have the second reading of this Bill on the 8th September.  The MP for your constituency only has to look at letters from his constituents. But, you can write to any Lord you wish to, and as many Lords as you like.

You can also join a campaign by We Own It who are running a petition and trying to get this Bill amended. Please join their campaign and sign the petition.  If you can write to one or more Lords, please do.  Here is a template letter you can use.  Here is how you can contact anyone in the Lords.

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