NHS: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Department of Health written question – answered on 28th October 2015.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure that public services provided by the NHS are not affected by legal challenge by commercial markets entrants as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.

Photo of Ben Gummer Ben Gummer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The United Kingdom has trade deals with over 160 countries across the world and we have protected the National Health Service and public services in all of these trade agreements. We will continue to do so in the European Union-United States free trade deal (TTIP). This is non-negotiable.

This means that the government of the day, not trade agreements, will always set the rules governing how the NHS is run.

There will be nothing in the EU-US free trade deal Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that would stop a future Government from changing the legal framework for the provision of NHS services or terminating the private provision of such a service in accordance with the law or contracts entered into as is the case today. It would be entirely possible for the UK, or any EU country, to change the delivery model for publicly funded health services in the future.

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