Mark is strongly opposing the inclusion of public services in an EU-US Trade Treaty currently being negotiated, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP. He joined Labour colleagues today in backing a Private Members’ Bill that would make sure that the NHS is not part of the treaty.
The Bill would exempt the NHS from TTIP which could mean that US private healthcare companies would be able to sue if denied the right to bid for public sector contracts. You can find details of the Bill introduced by Labour MP, Clive Efford, here.
“Labour has said very clearly that we won’t back this Treaty unless the NHS and other key public services are excluded.
“Free trade can help to boost the economy and create jobs but it should have no bearing on our core public services which must be based on a commitment to serve all our citizens according to need not the profit motive.
”The Government must respect the will of Parliament expressed in a clear vote – 241 to 18 – if it doesn’t it will show that it has scant respect for democracy as well as the essential values of public services.”
Information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/ttip/
Mark is strongly opposing the inclusion of public services in an EU-US Trade Treaty currently being negotiated, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP. He joined Labour colleagues today...
Speaking in a debate on devolution and the union in the House Commons, Mark called for root-and-branch constitutional change to push forward with devolution of new powers for Scotland whilst addressing political alienation throughout the UK.
You can read Mark’s speech here.
“The promise to devolve new powers to the Scottish Parliament to make a real difference to the way we are governed must be kept with the changes to go through on time.
“I firmly believe they will be but that doesn’t mean that we stop there: there is a sense of political alienation throughout the UK and we have to address that through complete reform of the House of Lords, wider devolution to councils, cities and regions as well as voting reform.
“The way that so many people on both sides were engaged in the referendum debate was cause for hope – but we need change not just in the way we are governed, we have to tackle the lack of hope that many feel and the poverty that continues to blight our society.”
Mark dealt with the Barnett Formula in part of his speech as well but pointed out that it is a formula for spending, one not based on needs assessment — such as the costs for public services in remote areas like the Highlands and Islands or poverty – or the contribution that different parts of the UK make to central Government revenues.
It was a Backbench debate and it ended without a vote. Submissions are currently being made to the Smith Commission by trade unions and civil society organisations more widely, business and professional associations following those of the political parties.
Heads of agreement are due to be published by the end of November and draft clauses for the new Scotland Bill by the end of January 2015.
Speaking in a debate on devolution and the union in the House Commons, Mark called for root-and-branch constitutional change to push forward with devolution of new powers for Scotland whilst...