Health secretary tells Trump administration: ‘NHS is not up for sale’

The NHS. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

The NHS. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The health secretary Matt Hancock has rebuffed the US ambassador to the UK for claiming that the NHs would be 'on the table' in a post-Brexit trade deal.

Woody Johnson said he expected the "entire economy" - including the health service - would be part of a future deal.

But Hancock responded by saying that the NHS is "not for sale".

"Yes we'd love to make it cheaper to buy your life-saving pharmaceuticals - but the NHS will not be on the table in any future trade talks," he tweeted.

Johnson make the comments after he was asked about fears that a free trade deal with the US would mean American pharmaceutical and medical corporations getting a slice of the NHS.

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He told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "Oh I don't think they'd be put in any particular position regarding that.

"Your national healthcare service is the pride of the country. It's a highly emotionally charged issue."

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But asked if he thought healthcare would have to be part of the deal, he replied: "I think probably the entire economy, in a trade deal all things that are traded will be on the table."

Pressed on whether that included healthcare, Johnson said: "I would think so."

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