Nicola Sturgeon: Scots NHS under threat from post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump

Nicola Sturgeon says the NHS would be on the table in trade talks
Nicola Sturgeon says the NHS would be on the table in trade talks
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Scotland's NHS is "under threat" from a looming post-Brexit trade deal between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, according to Nicola Sturgeon.

But Labour attacked the SNP leader's own record in handling the NHS in Scotland, amid lengthy patient waits, bed blocking and major hospital building failures.

US President Donald Trump last week denied that the NHS would be targeted in any trade deal with the UK after Brexit.

Ms Sturgeon warned the health service will be "on the table" in trade talks with the US.

READ MORE: Lib Dems call for Labour to ‘stand aside’

“Boris Johnson is desperate to do a post Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump which will undoubtedly include prescription drug prices and corporate access to the NHS," she said.

"The threat to our NHS shows why Scotland needs to escape the Westminster chaos and choose our own future.

“Far from getting Brexit done, if the Tories get to pass their deal, it will just be the start of the damage to our economy and public services like our precious NHS."

She added: "The future of Scotland’s NHS must be in Scotland’s hands – not in Boris Johnson’s and Donald Trump’s - and in the coming weeks we will highlight how votes for the SNP can protect Scotland's NHS."

Labour leader Richard Leonard echoed the threat to the NHS over a US trade deal - but slammed the SNP's stewardship of the NHS in Scotland..

He said Ms Sturgeon has fallen “asleep at the wheel” in a speech to party activists outside Monklands Hospital amid missed targets that ministers have set for themselves.

Capital funding for health services has suffered a 63 per cent drop in the past decade under the SNP, resulting in a £914 million backlog of maintenance issues across a deteriorating NHS estate.

“You can only trust Labour with the NHS, the Tories would sell it off to Trump and Nicola Sturgeon has fallen asleep at the wheel,” he said.

“Boris Johnson wants to sell off control of the NHS to Donald Trump as part of a post-Brexit trade deal, which would be catastrophic for Scotland’s health service. The NHS is the jewel in the crown of Britain’s public services. It is unforgivable that Nicola Sturgeon’s government has allowed a potential £1.8 billion black hole to open up.”

But the SNP insist that the NHS in Scotland is receiving "record levels of funding" and employing record numbers of staff, while A&E waits are not as bad in Scotland as elsewhere in the UK.