I had a rush of emails over the weekend prompted by the campaigning website 38 degrees. Correspondents tell me that the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Treaty between the EU and the USA presents an existential threat to our NHS. This is based on a legal opinion secured by a trade union from a leading Queen’s Counsel. Frankly, I am deeply sceptical. The proposed treaty specifically excludes healthcare. I have always rather suspected that one can secure the legal opinion that you want, if you are prepared to pay for it. In any event –by definition- 50% of legal opinions will be proven incorrect if they are tested in court.
Personally I am in favour of free trade and support the proposed treaty -as regular readers of this column may recall. (My earlier article can be found at:
We gave up our right to negotiate trade treaties when we joined the Common Market. It is the EU parliament that will ratify the treaty and not our own at Westminster.
Constituents who really are troubled by the proposed treaty and its alleged threat to the NHS however, should focus on the fact that it is to be a treaty between the EU and the USA. They can draw the obvious conclusion and vote accordingly in the Referendum on 23 June!