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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Volume 589: debated on Tuesday 2 December 2014

The seventh round of negotiations concluded in October, and our ambition remains to agree a deal next year that could benefit the average British family by £400 a year.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. Will he confirm that as part of his negotiations, he will reiterate that signing TTIP is not the start of the privatisation of the NHS?

I can absolutely confirm that to my hon. Friend. In early October, both the United States and EU chief negotiators made it clear in public statements that there would be no provisions in the trade agreement that would limit the ability of Governments to regulate health provision or other public services.

At a meeting in my constituency last Friday, those very concerns about the privatisation of the health service were raised, as were concerns about the reduction in minimum standards such as the minimum wage and conditions at work, and about the ability of a UK Government to put conditions on suppliers to the UK. Can the Minister give my constituents some reassurances on those points?

I would like to think that the right hon. Gentleman made it clear that he was not going to add to the scaremongering rumours that he has just described, especially given that the Government in whom he served were an ardent champion of this trade deal with the United States. It is clear that the TTIP deal will not limit the ability of Governments to legislate for, or to regulate, public services. It will provide businesses large and small in this country with enormous opportunities to get access to a US market of 300 million customers, and the entire House should be united in supporting that.