Documents confirm “NHS is on the table in trade talks”, says Corbyn

Elliot Chappell

Jeremy Corbyn has revealed 451 pages of newly obtained, unredacted documents that he claims “confirm the US is demanding the NHS is on the table in trade talks”.

In a statement in London, the Labour leader declared that he had obtained documents showing secret meetings between the US and the UK. He said they confirmed the US are demanding that the NHS is on the table in trade talks.

Corbyn reminded the audience that Boris Johnson has repeatedly denied that the health service is included in trade talks with the US. He said the information in the documents revealed this morning leave Johnson’s denial “in tatters”.

The Labour leader said: “If you watch the first TV debate, you’ll have seen me hold up these censored blacked-out reports. Pages and pages of blacked-out reports of secret US and UK talks about breaking open our NHS to US corporations and thus driving up the cost of medicines.”

He added: “These uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson’s denial in absolute tatters… We’ve now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda, but today it’s been exposed.”

Reading from the documents, he said: “Everything is included, unless something is specifically excluded. They want, I quote, total market access as the baseline assumption of the trade negotiations.”

He went on to emphasise that US corporation involvement would lead to higher medicine prices in the UK. He said: “The drug humira, for chron’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis, costs our NHS £1,409 a packet – in the US the same packet cost £8,115.

“This election is now a fight for the survival of our national health service – as a public service, free for all, at the point of need… Labour will never, ever treat our NHS as a bargaining chip in trade talks.”

The Labour Party has repeatedly stated that the Conservatives would include the health service in trade talks with the US – the claims have been denied by the Tories. This latest evidence comes just two weeks before voters head to the polls.

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