International trade agreements: public health services

Part of Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade) 4:15 pm, 25th June 2020

New clause 12 would ensure that the UK Government had a duty to restrict market access to healthcare services, including medicines and medical devices. We tabled the new clause precisely because trade deals have the potential to negatively impact health services. Although the UK Government have repeatedly pledged that the NHS is not on the table in trade negotiations, leaked documents detailing conversations between UK and US negotiators reveal that health services have been discussed, including the US “probing” on the UK’s health insurance system—whatever that means—and that the US has made clear its desire for the UK to change its drugs pricing mechanism.