My hon. Friend makes a powerful point, and I completely agree that the Government need to pay urgent to attention to that.
The Government’s response continued:
“the Government will continue to ensure that decisions on how to run public services are made by UK Governments, including the Devolved Administrations, and not our trade partners.”
It also said:
“Trade agreements do not prevent governments from regulating as they see fit, and they also do not require governments to privatise any services…
The Government will ensure that nothing in our future trade agreements dilutes the powers of UK regulators to maintain the NHS’s position as the best health service in the world.”
However, as the petitioner says, words are not enough. By tomorrow, we will have a new Prime Minister; by the end of the week, we will probably have a new Cabinet, a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and possibly a new Government position on these matters. Although we hear time and again, from across the Benches, support for the great institution that is the national health service and for its abiding principle of being free at the point of need, those are only words without deeds.