Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley has warned how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the EU and US – could threaten our National Health Service and shows how it could have prevented taking the failing Surgicentre at the Lister back into the NHS.


    In his article, Peter Lilley explains how "TTIP will give big US companies the right to sue the British government (but not vice versa) in special courts if policy changes affect their profits
    . A QC’s Opinion [1] shows how US companies could use these courts to sue the UK government should it want to take back into the public sector privately provided services in the NHS, education etc. – or open fewer services to private provision."  Peter recalls how "in 2012 I and other local MPs lobbied successfully to reincorporate into the NHS the disastrously-run private Surgicentre set up by Tony Blair at the Lister Hospital. Had TTIP been in force and the Surgicentre been run by a US firm, this renationalisation might have been impossible and the foreign operator could have sued for massive compensation at the expense of our local NHS".


    "This has important implications for the debate on EU membership. In or out of the EU we should question whether these special tribunals giving such privileges to foreign multi-nationals are necessary and at very least try to exclude the NHS from the TTIP treaty. But that would be far easier if Britain leaves the EU and negotiates a parallel treaty – preferably just a straight forward free trade agreement restricted to abolishing remaining tariffs, without these offensive clauses. If we remain in the EU when TTIP is signed we will be bound by it for 20 years."


    Peter said: "Prompted by correspondence from many constituents concerned about the repercussions of TTIP, I looked into the matter further and held a meeting with the Global Justice Foundation who are campaigning against it. I am convinced that it would be disastrous if we back a system which turns out to impose privatisation by the back door without parliamentary approval."


    [1] TTIP and its potential impact on the NHS Michael Bowsher QC and Adam Suterwalla, Monckton Chambers.