Is Brexit really about independence or could it be about ownership?
In 2016, Michael Bowsher QC, a former chair of the Bar Council’s EU law committee was tasked by Unite to prepare advice regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between Europe and the US.
Unite believed that TTIP posed a credible threat to our National Health Service and it’s future, with public services potentially being placed into private hands. The government downplayed such claims but what truly brought about the initial scare stories was Vote Leave’s claims that remaining in the EU could mean a result of being tied up in TTIP.
Gisela Stuart MP, the Chair of the Vote Leave campaign, delivered a keynote speech arguing that remaining in the EU presented a ‘real risk to the UK’. She continued:
“Immigration is placing the NHS under huge strain and undermining patient safety, and our ability to control the NHS could be further undermined by the way the pressure that could be made worse by the TTIP agreement the EU is negotiating with the US.”
Stuart had highlighted the “Five Presidents’ report” and argued the same thing as Boris Johnson that, voting leave, could mean an extra £350 million for our NHS. Boris Johnson wasn’t the only Vote Leave campaigner to offer such rewards, and Gisela Stuart’s keynote speech can still be found on Vote Leave’s web site.
Being on the remain campaign at the time, I recall ensuring others that TTIP would fall through and it wasn’t long after the referendum result that TTIP was reported to have fallen through.
Many highlight the false promise of £350 million for our NHS as the defining argument that convinced the nation to vote Leave, but it wasn’t the sole strategy. The scaremongering regarding TTIP equally played its part. The Leave campaign presented the EU as a risk to our NHS and Leaving as giving it an injection of more funding.
Who wouldn’t go for that? Honestly. But in hindsight, all the shadows behind such strategies are now coming to light. There has been a lot of talk regarding the Russians interfering in our elections but what if it was actually one of our closest allies? Like Donald Trump.
On a state visit this week to the UK, Trump openly stated, standing next to our Prime Minister, that post-Brexit trade talks would include having the NHS and its services on the table. When you connect the dots, it becomes apparent that TTIP may have potentially been a seed planted, in order to isolate us from the trading bloc that has had our backs in trading disputes all along.
It would seem that Brexit is the love child, not of Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson, but of Donald Trump. Just as Loki was perceived the antagonist in Avengers Assemble, we later came to find Loki was working on the behalf of a much bigger villain, Thanos.
It’s interesting how those who campaigned for Brexit are good friends of Donald Trump, as well as immediately travelling to the US after the referendum result to have a photo celebrating with him. We all remember the gold photo of Trump standing alongside Farage and Arron Banks.
It’s also interesting that many of those who voted Leave, have a love for Donald Trump, yet the very thing (NHS) they thought they were saving, maybe was being handed on a platter to Trump all along.
It’s no longer a case of remaining or leaving, but the case of, do you want a NHS or a private healthcare insurance system to cover your health? Anyone who has watched “Sicko” or has seen the deaths and illnesses in the United States from those refused insurance, along with the poverty incurred due to those facing debts over their health, should be concerned.
The Leave campaign have not put our children and future generations first, they have put profit first, and the sooner people come to realise this, the better. Jeremy Corbyn spoke very passionately regarding saving our NHS, but he cannot do this if Brexit goes ahead.
Trump has already been doing everything he can to control the direction of the UK. His threats regarding blocking the UK out if we do a 5G deal with Huawei for example shows that he is really trying to meddle in our affairs and the type of partner we would have post Brexit.
It’s time for another vote, and whether you like the EU or not, what could be worse than having our national health service stripped from underneath us? I’m sure having human rights imposed on us by the EU shouldn’t be a hard pill to swallow.
By Sean Ash