The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has always been controversial. At face value a free trade deal between the US and Europe might not seem like a bad thing. Indeed by and large this newspaper has been supportive of free trade and trade agreements generally in the same way it recognises the value of remaining in the European political and economic fold.

When it comes to TTIP however a number of factors immediately give cause for unease and concern.

To begin with there is the inescapable fact so much of the ongoing negotiations are conducted by corporate lobbyists behind closed doors. This is significant not least given that TTIP would be the biggest agreement of its kind, affecting one quarter of global trade.

It’s hardly surprising then that many opponents of TTIP do so because they see it as nothing short of a threat against democracy. This in great part accounts for the considerable public backlash to TTIP across the EU and, notably, online. This wave of opposition has been given yet further impetus with the results of the latest poll conducted by the independent campaigning group 38 Degrees, which concludes opposition to the EU-US trade deal is stronger here in Scotland.

At the heart of this opposition to TTIP is the equally emotive issue of the NNS. In the poll, conducted by Survation on behalf of 38 Degrees, results suggest some 70 per cent of Scottish voters are against the inclusion of the NHS in TTIP.

These Scottish voters fear as many others do across the UK that TTIP could lead to the privatisation of the NHS by the back door because the treaty includes "market access" which bans state monopolies, including public services, run by the state.

Their concerns are echoed in other quarters too. Britain’s largest union Unite is also convinced the trade deal would make privatisation of parts of the NHS irreversible.

Unite’s concerns are in part based on legal advice prepared for the union by Michael Bowsher QC, a former chairman of the Bar council’s EU committee who concluded the TTIP deal poses “ a real and serious risk” to future UK Government decision making regarding the NHS.

In a recent open letter to US President Barack Obama, some 140,000 members of 38 Degrees called on him to stop TTIP negotiations.

It was, of course, the Obamacare programme that helped usher in badly-needed healthcare reforms across the US. But despite this, the country’s healthcare provision is still a long way off that made available by the NHS and other European models of social care.

Should the TTIP deal go thorough, the obvious danger is of some kind of back door Americanisation-cum-privatisation of the NHS.

During its controversial existence and in its evolutionary twists and turns, TTIP negotiations have generated almost as many myths as they have concerns over what its long-term implications might mean.

Trade deals are fine. But in their creation they must be both transparent and come with guarantees of checks and balances and an assurance that one size will not be made to fit all.