SNP to launch bill blocking NHS from being involved in post-Brexit trade deals

The SNP will today launch a campaign to protect the NHS from being involved in any future trade talks.

The SNP will try and block any attempts to put the NHS in a trade deal
The SNP will try and block any attempts to put the NHS in a trade deal

Glenrothes MP Peter Grant will host a virtual event to push a Bill that aims to block any future UK government from using the NHS as a bargaining chip in future trade deals.

An NHS protection Bill formed part of the SNP manifesto last year and will now have its second reading on November 6.

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Speaking ahead of the launch, Mr Grant said: “In its 70-year history, our NHS has never been under greater threat than from this right-wing, Brexit-obsessed government at Westminster led by Boris Johnson.

“The Prime Minister’s brazen attitude to securing trade deals has gone from haphazard to dangerous.

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“That’s why I’m bringing forward a Bill to protect each of the National Health Services across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“At the 2019 general election, people in Scotland put their trust in the SNP to protect our health service from a Tory-US trade deal that could see the NHS on the negotiating table. My message to the UK government is clear - our NHS is not for sale.”

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In a move to establish Scotland is represented in any trade talks, the Bill would also force Westminster to require the consent of all devolved nations fore signing off on any agreements.

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Mr Grant explained: “Boris Johnson’s Tories have made clear that they do not respect the devolution settlement. The UK government’s Internal Market Bill is a thinly-veiled power grab on the Scottish Parliament, which is why the devolution lock is such an important part of this Bill.

“The SNP will not stand idly by while the Tories trade away our precious health service that is publicly owned, operated and free at the point of need for a dodgy trade deal with the US or anyone else.”

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The UK Government is trying to negotiate a trade deal with the US, but has repeatedly ruled out including the NHS in any agreement.

A spokesman insisted: “The NHS is not for sale and the government is committed to the guiding principles of the NHS — that it is universal and free at the point of use.”

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