Andrea responds to TTIP petition

Campaigners from The People’s NHS, a pressure group supported by Unite the Union, yesterday (Thursday) delivered a petition to Andrea expressing their opposition to the inclusion of NHS services in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a wide-ranging free trade deal between the United States and the European Union.

The petition included just under 550 verified signatures from residents in the Morley and Outwood constituency.

Responding to the petition, Andrea said:

“Healthcare is the reason why I decided to become an MP.

“Since I was elected in May I have been selected to sit on the Health Select Committee and have set up an All Party Group on Patient Safety, in conjunction with the Patients Association. I became a trustee of MRSA Action UK in 2012 and have campaigned on the issue of patient safety ever since.

“I would never support anything that puts the basic principles of the NHS at risk.

“There are unfounded scares being circulated about the impact of a free trade agreement between the EU and the USA (TTIP), often by those who are just opposed to the agreement for political reasons. There is a huge prize from securing the agreement in terms of a potential £10 billion benefit to our economy every year and I want the extra jobs and growth it will bring to West Yorkshire.

“It is important, though, that the scares about the impact on the NHS are addressed, and they have been. Negotiators from the United States and the European Union have confirmed that it will continue to be for EU member states to make decisions about whether, and to what extent, they involve the private sector in the provision of public services. The EU’s chief negotiator on TTIP has stated that EU countries will continue to be free to decide how they run their public health systems. Just as they do now.

“I support concluding agreement on the EU/USA trade agreement as soon as possible so that we can start to enjoy the economic benefits it will bring.

“Through my position on the Health Select Committee I will fight to ensure that any genuine concerns of Morley and Outwood residents about the NHS are heard.”

Notes to Editors

  1. All signatures on the petition were checked against the electoral roll for the Morley and Outwood constituency. Of a total of 703 signatures, 129 did not provide a postcode, 14 did not include a signature and 18 did not include a name. The total number of verified signatures is 542.