Donald Trump has rowed back on his suggestion that access for US firms to the NHS must be part of talks for a post-Brexit trade deal.
The US president had used a joint appearance with Theresa May to say that the NHS would be “on the table” as part of a “phenomenal” potential transatalantic deal – which followed the comments of the US ambassador over the weekend.
But in a U-turn he used a major TV interview to say “I don’t see it being on the table” as the NHS was “something that I would not consider part of trade”.
“I think everything with a trade deal is on the table,” he said.
“When you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table – so NHS or anything else, a lot more than that, but everything will be on the table, absolutely.”
But in an interview with Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan, he said: “I don’t see it being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I say everything is up for negotiation, because everything is.
“But I don’t see that as being, that something that I would not consider part of trade. That’s not trade.”
He also held out the prospect of a meeting in the future with Jeremy Corbyn after snubbing him during this visit.
Asked if he could imagine negotiating a trade deal with a government led by Corbyn, the president told Good Morning Britain: “It’s always possible. Anything is possible.”
He said he “didn’t think it was appropriate” to meet Corbyn “but I would”.
“I certainly would have no problem with it,” he added.
Among those who have had meetings with the president are Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and senior Tory Eurosceptics Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Paterson.
Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson was offered a meeting but declined in order to attend a hustings in Westminster, although he had a 20-minute phone conversation with the president.