Department of Health’s response to The People’s NHS campaign about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
The government believes that the inclusion of health in the TTIP does not threaten the public nature of the NHS, but provides an opportunity for European businesses, including improving access to the US market for the UK’s world-class pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors.
Decisions about the commissioning of NHS care will remain with local GP-led commissioners, who will continue to act solely in the best interests of patients.
The European Commission has explicitly ruled out public services from the scope of any market liberalisation in the TTIP. The agreement will not require participating EU members to open up their national health systems to private providers. Following the most recent round of negotiations, both EU and US negotiators have confirmed this position.
The rules on investment protection for the TTIP will be negotiated carefully to preserve the right of the government to regulate in the public interest, whilst offering international investors access to justice if they feel they have been discriminated against unfairly. This agreement is not new, and the UK has over 90 similar agreements in place.
The European Commission carried out a public consultation on the investor protection provisions earlier this year. The consultation sought stakeholder views on what modern investment provisions should look like in the TTIP.