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Post-Brexit Trade Deals (Public Services)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 11th December 2019.

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Photo of Bill Kidd Bill Kidd Scottish National Party

3. To ask the Scottish Government whether it has had any communication from the United Kingdom Government regarding legislative protection for public services, such as the national health service, in future trade deals post-Brexit. (S5O-03893)

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

We have not had any communication about legislative protection for the NHS, despite what appear to be well-founded concerns that issues such as the price that the NHS pays for medicines will be on the table in the UK Government’s trade negotiations with the United States and other countries.

Photo of Bill Kidd Bill Kidd Scottish National Party

Last week,

The Independent reported that US drug firms have said that they are

“confident it will be easier to ... hike the price of medicines” in the UK following Brexit. Does the Scottish Government agree that the price of medicines should be protected and that the NHS should remain firmly in public hands?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

My answer to both those questions is yes. The anticipated increase in the price of drugs would be disastrous for the Scottish NHS. There is no necessity for it and it should not happen.