DONALD Trump has insisted the NHS would not be on the table in a Brexit trade deal after sparking a massive row.
The US President rowed back on his suggestion that access for US firms to the NHS must be part of trade talks in an interview with Piers Morgan.
When the Good Morning Britain host asked whether the NHS would be discussed as part of the trade negotiations, Mr Trump said: “I don’t see it being on the table.
“Somebody asked me a question today and I said everything’s up for negotiation because everything is.
“But I don’t see that as being… that’s not something that I would consider being part of trade. That’s not trade.”
The US President prompted an outcry during his state visit by saying American firms must have access to the health service after Brexit.
But Tory leadership contenders insisted they would protect the NHS during talks over a transatlantic trade deal.
And opposition parties insisted that cutting a deal with Mr Trump would mean "selling off the NHS".
Speaking alongside Theresa May in London yesterday, the President said: "I think everything with a trade deal is on the table.
"When you're dealing in trade everything is on the table so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely."
US healthcare firms are keen to compete for privatised NHS contracts on the same basis as British and EU companies do.
Left-wingers fear that will mean more parts of the health service being operated by private companies.
Labour's Jon Ashworth said: “US corporations taking over our NHS is a nightmare scenario.
"The Tories appear happy to give Trump what he wants, and some want to offer up our NHS to get the No Deal Brexit they are campaigning for."
Today leadership hopeful Mr Hancock said: "Glad to see @realDonaldTrump say that the NHS is not on the table in any trade talks."
Candidates for the Tory leadership lined up to insist they will never let the health service be undermined by a post-Brexit trade deal.
Dominic Raab added: "I want to see the UK get fair deals on trade with the US and many other countries when we leave the EU.
"But the NHS is not for sale to any country and never would be if I was Prime Minister."
And Rory Stewart tweeted: "In case there was any doubt – I would not be 'offering up' the NHS in any trade deal."
Longshot contender Sam Gyimah also ruled out using the NHS as a "bargaining chip" in talks.
The Tories are keen to strike a trade deal with the US after we leave the EU.
Donald Trump also said he snubbed Jeremy Corbyn's "inappropriate" request for a meeting.
Piers Morgan asked Trump if he could do a trade deal with the Labour leader, to which Trump answered: "It’s possible, anything is possible. I don't know him.
"He wanted to meet, it was very tough to meet. Probably inappropriate to meet to be honest with you.
"A lot of things are happening right now with respect to our country and your country, my country.
"And let’s call them almost the same because I feel that way. It’s really a tremendous relationship.
"So I didn’t think it was appropriate to meet him, but I would, I certainly would. I’d have no problem with it.
"I think it’s a long shot when you say that, you know, I don’t, I don’t think it’s going to happen."
Trump also said he'd made up with Prince Harry over the "nasty" row around Meghan Markle.
Source: Read Full Article