Labour's Lancashire County Councillors have led the on a lobbying campaign to raise its serious concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated by the United States and the European Union.
The TTIP is a proposed free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union. Opponents have voiced concerns that it will increase corporate power and make it more difficult for governments to regulate markets in the public interest.
Lancashire County Council has written to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills to raise serious concerns about the TTIP. The action follows a notice of motion passed at the most recent Full Council meeting.
Opponents of the deal maintain that the changes could mean the irreversible privatisation of the NHS and other public services. Changes to procurement rules mean US-based multinationals could win contracts throughout the NHS, whilst any future UK government attempting to reverse privatisation would be sued through secret tribunals.
Lancaster Labour's County Councillor Richard Newman-Thompson said: "The TTIP would allow companies to challenge decisions by national governments, or local authorities, that they think may damage their business interests. Disputes would be heard in private by unelected experts, rather than public courts, which would make it impossible to reverse decisions, such as the privatisation of the NHS, without being sued by foreign investors.
"It is vital that the UK government thinks again about the implications of this pernicious deal and acts to protect British public services and our ability to govern in the interests of the British people."