TTIP – the EU/US Trade agreement currently being negotiated – is a huge potential threat to our NHS and to all our public services.

It’s one which has concerned Leeds NW Labour for over two years – long before it started to hit any headlines.

We’ve been campaigning on it since May 2013.
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Our candidate, Alex Sobel, is also a long-standing critic of many aspects of the deal.

So it’s no surprise that he has signed the People’s NHS pledge to exempt the NHS from TTIP.

Alex made his own views on it very clear months ago

‘I could NOT accept any threat to our control over corporations, to workers’ rights, to consumer protections, to our capacity to renationalise our public services. I stand with the Labour Party’s view that it could not be accepted if it includes provision of public services and does not include an NHS exception. TTIP cannot be accepted if Investor State Dispute Settlement is in the final text.’

For all these reasons, he’s signed up to the People’s NHS pledge to take the NHS out of TTIP.

Like them, he does not believe that anything other than exemption would be enough.

The Tories have refused to exempt the NHS.

Lord Howe point blank refused to exempt it last September.

But the LibDems are not much better in their stance.

Vince Cable’s public statements in support of TTIP last autumn have been strongly challenged by bodies like War on Want.
His recent statements still seem to accept that there is no need for exemption.

The LibDems’ SE MEP came out publicly in favour of the inclusion of the NHS in TTIP.

Nick Clegg very firmly refused to sign this pledge for NHS exemption last week in Sheffield Hallam.
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By contrast, Labour has been questioning the terms of the agreement from the start.

Debbie Abrahams, Andy Burnham’s parliamentary private secretary, was the first person to raise the alarm in Parliament, back in June 2013.

Labour MEPs have been working hard for months on it – calling for a full exclusion of our public services.

They will not sign off on TTIP unless these concerns are addressed.

At Westminster, Labour’s Andy Burnham has specifically promised to demand NHS exemption.

As we’ve said before, the NHS is on the ballot paper on May 7.
– including the NHS and TTIP.

Only a Labour vote will ensure we get a party in power on May 8 which really is committed to keeping the NHS out of TTIP.

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