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Brexit is necessary to protect NHS from TTIP, says David Owen

The NHS will be at risk of further privatisation if Britain stays in the EU because of the major trade deal being negotiated with the US, David Owen will say on Wednesday.

Lord Owen, who was health secretary for Labour in the mid-1970s before co-founding the SDP, said it would be impossible to take the NHS back to its original purpose unless the UK votes to leave in the June referendum.

Speaking to the Guardian, Owen said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US could put the NHS in “serious danger” unless there are more special protections to exclude the health service from the terms of the deal.

Under the clause of TTIP that most worries campaigners, US companies will be able to sue governments for pursuing policies that harm their business. A legal opinion commissioned by Unite argues the deal would mean privatisation of elements of the NHS could become irreversible for future governments that want to restore services to public ownership.

“The legal opinion is very clear that there are a myriad of dangers if health comes under the current TTIP system,” Owen said.

Read more in The Guardian.

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