TRUMP: I WOULDN’T WANT NHS ON SIL­VER PLAT­TER

Daily Express - - Front Page - By Macer Hall and Sam Lis­ter

DONALDTrum­p has dis­missed Labour’s Gen­eral Elec­tion claim that a US-UK trade deal would threaten the NHS.

The US Pres­i­dent was adamant he wanted “noth­ing to do” with Bri­tain’s health ser­vice, adding: “We wouldn’t want to, if you handed it to us on a sil­ver plat­ter.”

Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn has per­sis­tently claimed that US health­care gi­ants could buy up parts of the NHS un­der the trade agree­ment sought by Boris John­son.

But Mr Trump, in London for a two-day Nato sum­mit, yes­ter­day de­nied Amer­ica was press­ing for ac­cess to the ser­vice. He said: “No, not at all. Never even thought

about it, hon­estly. I don’t even know where that ru­mour started. We have ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with it and we wouldn’t want to, if you handed it to us on a sil­ver plat­ter, we want noth­ing to do with it.”

Labour chiefs had hoped the US Pres­i­dent would em­bar­rass the Prime Min­is­ter by in­ter­ven­ing in the elec­tion fray.

But af­ter a break­fast meet­ing with Nato sec­re­tary-gen­eral Jens Stoltenber­g he promised re­porters that he was “stay­ing out” of the UK’s do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal de­bate.

He added: “I have no thoughts on it. It’s go­ing to be a very im­por­tant elec­tion for this great coun­try, but I have no thoughts on it. I don’t want to com­pli­cate it.”

He de­clined to at­tack Mr Cor­byn, who he has crit­i­cised in the past, say­ing he “knew noth­ing” about the Labour leader.

Mr Trump in­sisted: “I can work with any­body, I’m a very easy per­son to work with.”

He went on to say: “I stay out of it. I think Boris is very ca­pa­ble, and I think he’ll do a good job.”

Mr Cor­byn said de­spite the Pres­i­dent’s de­nial he would raise the NHS is­sue with Mr Trump if pos­si­ble as both at­tended re­cep­tions for Nato lead­ers and other pub­lic fig­ures at Buck­ing­ham Palace and Down­ing Street. But at the re­cep­tion hosted by the Queen, he did not get the chance. Most of the time he and Mr Trump were not even in the same room.

Mr John­son also dis­missed Mr Cor­byn’s claims about the NHS be­ing “for sale” – the main at­tack line in Labour’s elec­tion cam­paign.

Meet­ing vot­ers in Sal­is­bury yes­ter­day the Prime Min­is­ter said: “This is pure Loch Ness Mon­ster, Ber­muda Tri­an­gle stuff.”

He con­tin­ued: “I want to stress that un­der no cir­cum­stances what­ever will any part of the NHS be for sale and this is pe­ri­od­i­cally, metro­nom­i­cally pro­duced in a com­pletely fraud­u­lent way by the Labour party in or­der to dis­tract from the vacu­ity of their po­si­tion on Brexit and their un­will­ing­ness to get Brexit done.”

Asked if the Pres­i­dent’s com­ments had fi­nally scotched fears about the NHS, the PM added: “From our point of view it was never re­motely cred­i­ble and it was never on the ta­ble.”

Mr John­son also de­fended his cor­dial re­la­tion­ship with Mr Trump last night. He said: “It’s very im­por­tant for the Prime Min­is­ter of the United King­dom to have good re­la­tion­ships with the Pres­i­dent of the United States – that’s just a geopo­lit­i­cal, geo-strate­gic fact. The UK’s role in Nato is to be the glue. We’re the sec­ond big­gest player.”

The Nato sum­mit saw him meet Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel, French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan to dis­cuss Syria, Libya and counter-ter­ror­ism.

A Down­ing Street spokesman said: “The lead­ers dis­cussed the broad strate­gic, eco­nomic and defence part­ner­ships be­tween their coun­tries and agreed the im­por­tance of fur­ther deep­en­ing these, in­clud­ing through Nato.

“They also agreed to seek ways to help Syr­ian refugees and con­tinue the fight against ter­ror­ism.”

LABOUR must stop ped­dling the lie that un­der the Con­ser­va­tives the NHS would be sold off to US cor­po­ra­tions. This is brazen fear-mon­ger­ing that takes the elec­torate for fools. Boris John­son knows it would be an act of po­lit­i­cal sui­cide to dis­man­tle a health ser­vice re­garded by peo­ple of all par­ties as one of the very great­est achieve­ments of post-war Bri­tain.

Yes­ter­day Pres­i­dent Trump said he wanted “ab­so­lutely noth­ing to do with” the NHS and would not touch it even if it was handed “on a sil­ver plat­ter”.

These strong words should bring an end to id­i­otic spec­u­la­tion that the NHS will be up for grabs in free trade talks with the US.

Mr John­son led the Brexit cam­paign in 2016 be­cause he wanted to re­store Bri­tish sovereignt­y – not to cede con­trol of pre­cious in­sti­tu­tions to multi­na­tional firms.

Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock spent months work­ing to get Ver­tex to agree to make its game-chang­ing cys­tic fi­bro­sis drugs avail­able on the NHS. It is lu­di­crous to think that this ad­min­is­tra­tion would coun­te­nance a trade deal that would see the price of medicines es­ca­late.

The truth is that there is great po­ten­tial for the UK to agree mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial deals with both the US and the EU, while forg­ing new part­ner­ships with emerg­ing eco­nomic pow­er­houses. This will be good for trade, jobs and shop­pers.We have noth­ing to fear and ev­ery­thing to win.

The Queen sits next to Boris John­son at the re­cep­tion for Nato lead­ers she hosted at Buck­ing­ham Palace last night

The Duchess of Cam­bridge at Palace

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