New Clause 17 - International trade agreements: health or care services

Trade Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:00 pm on 20th July 2020.

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Votes in this debate

  • Division number 80
    A majority of MPs voted against ensuring international trade agreements protect the NHS, the wider health and care sector and those working in the public sector.

(1) Regulations under section 2(1) may make provision for the purpose of implementing an international trade agreement only if the conditions in subsections (2) and (3) are met in relation to the application of that agreement in any part of the United Kingdom.

(2) The condition in this subsection is that no provision of that international trade agreement in any way undermines or restricts the ability of an appropriate authority—

(a) to provide a comprehensive publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery,

(b) to protect the employment rights or terms and conditions of employment for public sectoremployees and those working in publicly funded health or care sectors,

(c) to regulate and maintain the quality and safety of health or care services,

(d) to regulate and control the pricing and reimbursement systems for the purchase of medicines or medical devices, or

(e) to regulate and maintain the level of protection afforded in relation to patient data, public health data and publicly provided social care data relating to UK citizens.

(3) The condition in this subsection is that the agreement—

(a) explicitly excludes application of any provision within that agreement to publicly funded health or care services,

(b) explicitly excludes provision for any Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause that provides, or is related to, the delivery of public services, health care, care or public health,

(c) explicitly excludes the use of any negative listing, standstill or ratchet clause that provides, or is related to, the delivery of public services, health care, care or public health,

(d) contains explicit recognition that an appropriate authority (within the meaning of section 4) has the right to enact policies, legislation and regulation which protects and promotes health,

public health, social care and public safety in health or care services, and

(e) prohibits the sale of patient data, public health data and publicly provided social care data.

(4) For the purposes of this section—

“negative listing” means a listing only of exceptions, exclusions or limits to commitments made by parties to the agreement;

“ratchet” in relation to any provision in an agreement means any provision whereby a party, if (after the agreement has been ratified) it has unilaterally removed a barrier in an area where it had made a commitment before the agreement was ratified, may not reintroduce that barrier, and

“standstill” in relation to any provision in an agreement means any provision by which parties list barriers which are in force at the time that they sign the agreement and undertake not to introduce any new barriers.—(Bill Esterson.)

This amendment would aim to protect the NHS and publicly funded health and care services in other parts of the UK from any form of control from outside the UK.

Brought up.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

Division number 80 Trade Bill — New Clause 17 — International Trade Agreements — Protection of the NHS, the Health and Care Sector and Public Sector Workers

A majority of MPs voted against ensuring international trade agreements protect the NHS, the wider health and care sector and those working in the public sector.

Aye: 248 MPs

No: 337 MPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Nos: A-Z by last name

Tellers

Absent: 61 MPs

Absents: A-Z by last name

The House divided: Ayes 251, Noes 340.

Question accordingly negatived.

The list of Members currently certified as eligible for a proxy vote, and of the Members nominated as their proxy, is published at the end of today’s debates.