VIDEO: Health protesters campaign against NHS privatisation

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A Sheffield health protest group took to the Town Hall to campaign against NHS privatisation.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a trade agreement with the United States of America set to be introduced by the European Union.

Louise Haigh MP speaks to a health protest group who took to the Town Hall to campaign against NHS privatisation

Louise Haigh MP speaks to a health protest group who took to the Town Hall to campaign against NHS privatisation

The People’s NHS Sheffield have been rallying MPs about TTIP - which they say will lead to the ‘irreversible’ sell-off of the NHS.

Scott Winwood, aged 38, from Crookes, a campaigner for the group, said: “The rally is to make people aware of the impact of TTIP.

“Within TTIP, there is a clause called the Investment State Dispute Settlement.

“That is a clause that will allow multinational corporations to sue governments if and when governments decide to bring services back into public ownership.

“What we argue is that that clause will put the NHS at risk of irreversible privatisation.

“We are trying to put pressure on Sheffield MPs to support a pledge against TTIP.”

All six Sheffield MPs have met or agreed to meet the group, and four have already signed their pledge against TTIP including Paul Blomfield and Harry Harpham.

However Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has refuted the campaigners’ claims and says he does not think the change will lead to NHS privatisation.

Mr Clegg said: “I’ve looked in very close detail at the TTIP negotiations.

“I know people have been worried about the potential impact on our NHS and other public services but the EU Trade Commissioner has been absolutely clear that EU Member States will not have to open up their public services to competition.

“If I thought for even a second that TTIP would lead to the privatisation of the NHS then I would ferociously oppose it.

“I’ve already met with campaigners in Sheffield about TTIP and the NHS and corresponded with hundreds of constituents.

“I’m always willing to discuss these issues with my constituents and would be happy to meet in the future.”

Protester Ruth North from Crookes, who brought her three-year-old daughter Rose along with her to the demonstration said: I want to stand up and be counted. I was born in the NHS and so were my kids. I don’t want a day to come where I can’t afford to pay for a doctor.

Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley who gave a speech said: “Very very clear is TTIPs sole intention is to attack our public services and to reduce regularity barriers for trade for big business.”

As if multi-national companies don’t already ride roughshod over the democratically elected states this will enable them to go even further.”