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05th Jun 2019

Donald Trump goes back on NHS trade deal claim in TV interview

Wayne Farry

He made the comments during an interview on Good Morning Britain

US president Donald Trump has gone back on his comments regarding the National Health Service being part of a post-Brexit US-UK trade deal during an interview on Good Morning Britain.

Speaking to interviewer Piers Morgan, Trump was asked whether he considered the NHS being on the negotiating table as a “deal breaker” in future negotiations.

“I don’t see it being on the table. Somebody asked me a question today and I say ‘everything’s up for negotiation’, because everything is, but I don’t see that being… that’s something I don’t consider being part of trade. That’s not trade,” said Trump, in a direct contradiction to the comments he had made earlier in the day.

Those comments were made during a press conference with prime minister Theresa May on Tuesday, at which he had stated that “everything, including the NHS”, would be on the table during US-UK trade talks.

One journalist present interrupted to ask whether the NHS would be on the table, to which Trump responded: “Look, I think everything with a trade deal is on the table.

“When you’re dealing with trade, everything is on the table.

“So, NHS or anything else. Or a lot more than that. But everything will be on the table, absolutely.”

The initial Trump comments – as well as Theresa May’s unconvincing attempts to appear in any way in control of the situation by stating that “the point about making trade deals it of course that both sides negotiate and come to an agreement about what should or should not be in that trade deal” – were received with anger by those on the right and the left of British politics.

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “Be in no doubt. A trade deal with Donald Trump will mean US corporations get to privatise and dismantle our NHS one bed at a time.”

Meanwhile, Tory leadership candidate and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Dear Mr President. The NHS isn’t on the table in trade talks – and never will be. Not on my watch.”

While Trump’s new remarks have been met with encouragement by many, most people are aware that they are, most likely, bullshit. And that he will seek to tear the NHS apart like a fresh carcass when the opportunity presents itself.