Matt Hancock: NHS is not for sale

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Health Secretary has insisted the NHS is not for sale, after Jeremy Corbyn claimed he had "proof" the service would be at risk under a Conservative government.

Matt Hancock said a 451-page dossier obtained by the Labour leader showed the NHS was "not on the table", despite Mr Corbyn's claims it proved the contrary.

"The claim from the Labour Party is a load of rubbish," Mr Hancock told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"What the document actually says is we do not currently believe the US has a major interest in this space. That's why it talks about the NHS, because it describes how the Americans are not proposing to challenge us when we say the NHS will not be on the table."

Jeremy Corbyn said the dossier showed the NHS would be 'up for sale'

The uncensored government documents cover six rounds of US-UK talks between July 2017 and July 2019.

Within them, they show the US is interested in discussing drug pricing, in particular extending patents to stop cheaper generic medicines being used.

Mr Hancock said Labour's interpretation of the documents were a way of deflecting scrutiny over their position on Brexit, with Mr Corbyn saying he will remain neutral if there were to be a second referendum.

"The only reason Labour want to talk about this is because there is so much trouble on their position on Brexit - or their lack of one - and the fact they want to put taxes up on everybody.

"They're trying to change the subject because they've got nothing else to say."

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