Trade Agreements: NHS

Department for International Trade written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Charlotte Nichols Charlotte Nichols Labour, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will make it her policy to exclude the NHS from potential future trade deals.

Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)

Trade is vital for the NHS, which relies heavily on crucial goods and services that come wholly, or in part, from suppliers based overseas. Trade enables the NHS to buy the best possible medicines and medical devices that industry – here and overseas – has to offer.

At the same time, Britain’s international public procurement commitments do not apply to the procurement of British healthcare services.

In fact, Britain’s public services are protected by specific exclusions, exceptions and reservations in the trade agreements to which we are party, and HM Government will continue to make sure that the same rigorous protections are included in future trade agreements.

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