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Remove the NHS from any aspect of trade negotiations

Last updated 2 months ago

When we are negotiating trade deals, the NHS will not be on the table. The price the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. The services the NHS provides will not be on the table.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.11

Our verdict

  • This is a promise to ensure that the price the NHS pays for drugs, and the option of further privatisation of the NHS, will not be up for discussion when the UK negotiates trade deals with other countries.
  • In July 2020, Conservative MPs voted down amendments to a Trade Bill which would have written this promise into law, with the Trade Minister claiming amendments were “unnecessary” because the NHS “will never be on the table at any trade deal, and that includes the prices we pay for drugs”.
  • There is debate about whether leaked documents from meetings between trade officials contradict this policy pledge, but the deals are still being negotiated and the government remains publicly committed to the policy, so for now this remains ‘in progress’.

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.

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