PARTY leaders from throughout the UK have signed to pledge to make sure the NHS is protected from TTIP, but there is one notable name missing: David Cameron.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could put the future of the health service at risk, union leaders have claimed, with the nature of the trade deal opening the door for US investment in public services. Despite signatures from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, as well as Northern Irish, Welsh and Green party leaders, Cameron has so far refused to put his name to the pledge.

The trade agreement, which is still being negotiated, will allow governments to exempt certain areas from the deal, which the European Commission said will not affect public services.

In Germany, where around 250,000 people took to the streets to protest TTIP earlier this month, the government have already started taking action to protect services by setting out exemptions from the deal, but, so far, the UK government have failed to exclude the NHS.

Last month, all 56 SNP MPs signed a motion expressing concerns at the trade deal, with Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell adding their names to the list. The pledge states that signatories must veto the agreement unless the NHS is ‘fully and clearly exempted from the agreement’.

The Unite union are leading the campaign to get leaders signed up, and have said a lack of action from the PM could result in the ‘irreversible sale’ of the NHS. Regional secretary Pat Rafferty said:

“Expert legal advice confirms that there are clear dangers arising from TTIP that could impact the NHS unless political leaders are ready to use the veto.”

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