International trade agreements: public health services

Part of Trade Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade) 4:30 pm, 25th June 2020

When the Minister described the end of the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 process, it is a take-it or leave-it option, with no ability for Members to make amendments whatever. I do not think that is satisfactory, to be brutally honest.

As I have said before, I do not question the sincerity of this Minister. When he says that the NHS is not for sale, that no trade agreement has ever affected how the UK deals with its public sector, that the NHS is protected by carve-outs, and that drug pricing and other things are not on the table, I think he is being sincere. But if we put in place a mechanism whereby those protections are not in the Bill, it does not take a huge leap of imagination to imagine some Trump-supporting figure coming up through the ranks of the Tory party and sitting in a chair just like the Minister’s, and making rather different decisions.

So, on that basis, I am afraid that I have to press for a Division on new clause 12.