Activists will rally in Westminster on Saturday as part of a Europe-wide protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which critics say will eradicate public services including the NHS and the BBC.
More than 1,000 people are expected to march against the treaty in London over the weekend, with many more holding demonstrations in UK cities and throughout Europe.
TTIP is a new trade deal between the European Union (EU) and the United States. The UK government backs the deal, claiming it could add billions to the economy by reducing regulations and other barriers to trade.
However, activist groups say that it would open up public services, including schools and hospitals, to American conglomerates, meaning TTIP could mean “privatization through the back door”.
“There is a significant danger with TTIP that large corporations will muscle in on the now compulsory tendering procedures for any public services,” London GP Naomi Beer told East London Online.
“The ethos of these corporations does not match our own public service ethos,” she said. “They are profit driven companies. Where there are limited funds and profit targets, the only way they can make money is by delivering a lower standard of service or getting less qualified staff or downgrading wages and conditions for their employees.”