The Absurd Claim That A US Free Trade Agreement Requires Privatising The NHS

The Senior Lecturer tells us that we must stay inside the European Union so that we can protect the National Health Service. You see, if we leave, then we’ll try and get a free trade agreement with the United States. And such an agreement would require – no, really, require – the privatisation of the national religion, the NHS.

The correct response to this claim is bunkum, tosh, and Dear Lord what have you been smoking?

Let me, however, offer just one good reason for staying in the EU this morning. Doing so lets us protect our NHS from the privatisation that a new trade deal with the USA would require. I stress: require. That would be their condition for a deal. And from then on the idea that the NHS might be free at the point of supply would be gone. As would any sense of quality. We have seen what has happened with outsourcing and privatisation time after time now. Service quality collapses and costs rise. Only the executives of the supplying companies gain. And this is what would happen if we leave the EU. Like night follows day.

It’s an interesting claim, certainly. It’s just that there seems not even one iota of truth to it.

The most obvious method of showing this being to point to Canada. Which has had a free trade agreement with the United States since 1988. And Nafta is about as close a deal as the EU’s Single Market, certainly it’s not entirely dissimilar to the Customs Union. And Canadian health care?

Access to health care based on need rather than ability to pay was the founding principle of the Canadian health-care system. Medicare was born in one province in 1947. It spread across the country through federal cost sharing, and eventually was harmonised through standards in a federal law, the Canada Health Act of 1984.

That’s not been changed by the free trade with the US thing. So a fairly fundamental question here. Where is the Senior Lecturer getting this proof of requirement? Or is that second sentence back the answer to that?

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ClimanDodgy GeezerBloke in North DorsetthammondNick Burton Recent comment authors
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Pat
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Pat

If such was a requirement then so would be the privatisation of medicare, Medicaid and the veterans health scheme. No chance of that flying in the US.
Staying in the EU however might well end up with private EU healthcare providers taking over NHS functions. As it already has to some degree.

Jonathan Harston
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Jonathan Harston

If having a free trade deal with the US requires us to sell off the NHS, and we don’t want to sell off the NHS, then simples, don’t have a free trade deal with the US. Just simply *not* prevent UKians from buying USian goods. We don’t need anybody’s permission to not shoot ourselves in the face.

Nick Burton
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Nick Burton

The man’s a loon! The NHS is free (to the individual patient) at the point of use, not at the point of supply. Or is he suggesting that we no longer pay suppliers? Or start charging to use the NHS? How can a free trade deal require that? Why would it? And if the NHS is so wonderful why not nationalise bandage manufacturers, or the suppliers of cleaning fluid? Secondly, provision by the state is no guarantee of anything. A friend has just completed a course of treatment for bone cancer. He was expecting to be in complete isolation, as… Read more »

thammond
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thammond

Either a liar or a fool. He can choose. Either he knows what the typical trade deals say, which is to allow access to things like government deals and so is lying or he doesn’t under stand what that sort of things means and so is a fool.

What all this nonsense actually does though is expose the utter lies at the heart of Remain about trade – they do not care one iota about the benefits of trade. It is simply a mindless and unreasoning, emotion-driven desperation to stay in the EU.

Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

The NHS is in far more danger from Corbyn and McDonnell’s idiotic economic policies that it ever will be from the Tories and/or a FTA with the USA. It was after all a Labour government espousing some of those policies that couldn’t afford to give the NHS a real budget increase in ’78. And anyway, if a US subcontractor can provide a service better/faster/cheaper that the competition why should we be denied those benefits? As for chlorinated chicken, we don’t include it in a deal, it just means we’ll have to give up on something we’d like to sell to… Read more »

Dodgy Geezer
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Dodgy Geezer

As for chlorinated chicken, we don’t include it in a deal, it just means we’ll have to give up on something we’d like to sell to them.

There is nothing unhygienic about using chlorinated water to wash chicken in. The EU, however, banned it, and won’t change their minds. If we are out of the EU, we can do what we like.

Climan
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Climan

Objections to “chlorinated” chicken is just protectionism and organic fundamentalism, we drink “chlorinated” tap water, and currently eat chicken with more salmonella than is present in the nasty US chicken.