TRUMP: I WOULDN’T WANT NHS ON SILVER PLATTER
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