Trump’s comments about the NHS should have been a turning point for Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

There we have it: 'When you're dealing in trade,' declared Donald Trump gleefully on his state visit, 'everything's on the table, so NHS or anything else or a lot more than that but everything will be on the table, absolutely.'

Surely this must be the real, decisive turning point. The moment when, finally, the harsh realities of Brexit hit home with swathes of Brexiters; when, through the thinning fog of Farage and Vote Leave's lies, they suddenly glimpse Trump's vultures circling overhead, ready to descend and feast on our country's cherished NHS.

If anything, the Donald's apparent retraction the next day made it worse.

In their little tete-a-tete after the press conference, one can imagine a panicked Farage pleading, "Deny everything! Call it fake news! Or else Brexit will just go down the pan!"

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For the past few weeks Farage has been on the offensive. From now on, he will forever be on the defensive.

Nothing now could ever completely convince anyone that the NHS, our EU food standards, our farming jobs are safe from Trump's grasping little hands.

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Paul Smith

If you had still had any illusions that our NHS would survive Brexit, these will have been dispelled by the statement of Trump's ambassador Woody Johnson that "the US will want business access to the NHS in any trade deal". Indeed, some have speculated that access to the NHS, along with the rest of the economy, is the real reason behind Trump's visit.

This should come as no surprise, for the Stronger In campaign always warned that the country could have Brexit or the NHS, but not both. The NHS has long been envied by Americans, compared to their wasteful and expensive system, at the same time as our own politicians paradoxically sought to emulate the US model by introducing market forces and business practices.

No British institution is as revered and respected, and to see it become a branch of McDonald's would be the ultimate sacrilege. We must defend it to the last.

Dr John King


Charges in the USA for a week's hospitalisation are around $25,000. Serious stuff can be $100,000 plus.

If you are undergoing cancer treatment and your insurance runs out you removed to a hospice.

I have seen pictures of actual American hospital invoices, one of which shows a charge of $40 for holding a newborn baby, listed as 'skin to skin'.

M J Bunting

Nigel Farage has taken it on himself to negotiate a trade deal with Trump's USA. In effect he is suggesting that he sell our nation to the Americans, against the will of the people and parliament.

Is this bordering on treason?

James Irvine


The agenda of the USA is so clear, to sow discontent in Europe, to create division between friends and a market for their arms industry. The 'special relationship' is all in their favour, and any promise of a trade deal with them will be the same.

If our elected politicians insist on wilfully driving us into the status of 51st state then the only thing that we can do as individuals is to boycott anything produced in the US.

Peter Tyzack

Severn Beach

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