President Donald Trump quashed fears that a partial sell-off of the NHS would be on the table in any free trade negotiations between the UK and U.S.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain‘s Piers Morgan, the President was asked: “No leader would allow Britain to effectively sell the NHS as part of a trade deal. Do you as the American President see that as a deal breaker if the NHS is off the table?
President Trump responded: “I don’t see it being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I say everything is up for negotiation, because everything is.
“But I don’t see that as being, that’s something that I would not consider part of trade. That’s not trade,” he added.
'I don't see it being on the table.'
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 5, 2019
In a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday, President Trump had spoken of a “phenomenal” trade deal between the UK and U.S. which could as much as triple trade between the two countries.
President Trump had said that everything would be on the table in negotiations, leading to near hysterical responses from Labour Party members, Conservative leadership candidates, and trade unions.
Mrs May had downplayed the significance of the President’s comment at the press conference, saying: “The point about making trade deals of course is that both sides negotiate and come to an agreement about what should or should not be in that trade deal.” This did not appear to quell the attacks on the President, however.
Trump: UK Will Have ‘Phenomenal Trade Deal’ with the U.S. After Brexit https://t.co/gNZYeF6Jki
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 4, 2019
Hard left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “We will not stand for that. We will fight with every last breath of our body to defend the principle of a healthcare system free at the point of need for everybody as a human right. They all need to understand: Our NHS is not for sale.”
Meanwhile GMB Health Union Chief Rehana Azam said: “President Trump is just waiting to get his hands on our NHS. There’s a very real danger Conservatives will just hand it over to him in a trade deal.”
Matt Hancock, one of the candidates to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and prime minister, said: “Dear Mr President. The NHS isn’t on the table in trade talks… and never will be. Not on my watch.”