New polling has found that almost half of the British public do not believe Boris Johnson’s claim that the NHS will be ‘off the table’ in post-Brexit trade talks.
According to the survey commissioned by campaign group We Own It, 47% of the public don’t believe Boris Johnson’s claims on the NHS and trade, up nine points since a similar poll reported in July.
The findings comes as the government’s trade bill had its second reading in the House of Lords today.
Campaigners claim that the bill lack provisions protecting NHS from privatisation.
They are concerned a lack of safeguards open up the health service to being charged more for drugs and could enshrine the rights of American healthcare companies to access the NHS in international treaties.
According to the same poll, 75% of the public believe that there should be specific protections for the NHS in the trade bill.
We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: ‘At a time when we’re relying on our health service more than ever before, it’s beyond shocking that the government would seek to pass legislation that could see our NHS be carved up and sold off.
‘As this poll shows, the public don’t buy Boris Johnson’s reassurances, and three in four of us want to see concrete protections for our NHS.
‘It’s time that the NHS being ‘off the table’ is enshrined into law. It’s absolutely vital that both the House of Lords and the House of Commons urgently amend the Trade Bill to protect our precious NHS. This is our last chance to ensure that our NHS is protected from the American healthcare industry.’
The poll comes as hundreds of thousands of people have taken action to demand protections for the NHS. A petition launched by We Own It in July has amassed over 290,000 signatures in seven weeks.
The trade bill had its second reading in the House of Lords on September 8. A third reading will take place later in the autumn.
Pollsters Survation polled 1009 people aged 18 years and over living in the UK via online panel on 2nd-3rd September.