THE coalition was accused of hiding the true impact of dodgy trade deal TTIP behind a “veil of secrecy” yesterday, after bureaucrats clamped down on public access to key legal files.
Union Unite was stymied by government gatekeepers over two freedom of information requests asking for any legal advice received on the potential impact of the US-EU deal, particularly on the NHS.
TTIP opponents argue it will open public services up to compulsory private-sector bids, as firms could sue any European government refusing to flog off state services.
And in Britain the NHS, already subjected to widespread privatisation, would be severely at risk as a result.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The Prime Minister claims there is no threat to the NHS from TTIP.
“If this is true, why doesn’t he just remove the NHS from the trade deal and why won’t the Department of Health release its legal advice?
“The government has failed to give one decent reason why the NHS should be in this trade deal and, to make matters worse, it is blocking potentially important legal information.
“David Cameron should be using his veto to stop the NHS from becoming part of this dangerous trade deal.”
Campaigners say the deal would force down wages, cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and open the door to massive enforced privatisation.
Coalition ministers have repeatedly refused to exclude the NHS from the deal despite rising popular pressure.