Tuesday 3 December 2019 8:45 am

Jeremy Corbyn throws spotlight back on NHS during Donald Trump's Nato summit visit

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged Donald Trump to confirm the NHS is “genuinely off the table” in post-Brexit trade talks between the US and UK.

The US President landed at Stansted overnight for London’s Nato summit this week.

Read more: Nato summit 2019: London’s road closures as Trump arrives in UK

His visit comes ahead of the 12 December General Election, which is being dominated by Brexit and US access to NHS contracts in a future trade deal.

In a letter addressed to Trump, Corbyn wrote: “I am writing to you today to seek assurances in relation to a post-Brexit UK-US trade agreement, and in particular over the prices paid to US drugs companies as a consequence of any such UK trade deal with the US.

“As you will know, the potential impact of any future UK-US trade agreement on our National Health Service and other vital public services is of profound concern to the British public.”

Issues Corbyn raised included the cost of drugs on the NHS. He said patented US drugs cost 2.5 times as much as their UK counterparts and that the top 20 medicines are 4.8 times higher on average than in Britain.

Read more: Pressure ramps up over US-UK trade deal as Trump lands

“Any increase in the NHS drugs bill would be an unacceptable outcome of US-UK trade negotiations,” Corbyn added.

“Yet you have given a number of clear and worrying indications that this is exactly what you hope to achieve.”

Corbyn accused the Tories of a “plot” to sell off parts of the NHS to the US in a future trade deal.

Jeremy Corbyn claimed a 451-page document proved the NHS in on the table in trade talks
Jeremy Corbyn claimed a 451-page document proved the NHS in on the table in trade talks

He revealed a 451-page previously redacted government document that he claimed as proof the NHS was up for sale.

But an EU trade expert has told City A.M. there was nothing unusual in the document, which sets out the scope of talks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has dismissed the accusations out of hand, calling them “total nonsense”.

Read more: Corbyn’s NHS stunt just shows how desperate Labour really is

“We are absolutely resolved that there will be no sale of the NHS, no privatisation; the NHS is not on the table in any way,” Johnson said last week.

Instead, he claimed it was a “diversionary tactic” employed by Labour to draw attention away from its antisemitism crisis and Brexit.

But reports are circulating that Tory bigwigs are worried about Trump’s visit to the UK, seeing him as a risk to Johnson’s election chances.

Corbyn’s letter demands that “US negotiating objectives are revised as a matter of urgency”.