NHS and Future Trade Deals — [Sir Roger Gale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 22nd July 2019.

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Photo of Mike Hill Mike Hill Labour, Hartlepool 4:30 pm, 22nd July 2019

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered e-petition 242300 relating to future trade deals and the National Health Service.

It is a pleasure to speak under your chairmanship, Sir Roger. I thank Mr Byron Davis for starting the petition, which to date has attracted 166,998 signatures, including more than 200 from my constituency. The petition is entitled, “Don’t put our NHS up for negotiation”, and it asks the Government to,

“Please introduce concrete safeguards that will make sure our NHS is kept out of any future trade deals after Brexit.”

It goes on to say:

“Words aren’t enough—we want watertight protections that will keep our NHS off the negotiating table. Why is this important? When done well, trade deals can be good for the UK. They can help create jobs and build opportunities…
But this plan would put our health service at risk.”

The Government responded on 17 June 2019:

“The Government has been clear: the NHS is not, and never will be, for sale to the private sector. The Government will ensure no trade agreements will ever be able to alter this fundamental fact.”

The Department for International Trade went on to provide a detailed 491-word response to the petition, which can be found on the Petitions Committee website. It includes commitments such as:

“the NHS is not, and never will be, for sale to the private sector, whether overseas or domestic.”