NHS is not on negotiating table in talks with the US, UK insists

Fri 30 Oct 2020
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

uk us trade

The UK and US remain at odds over whether the NHS is a matter for negotiation in the talks for a new trade deal.

Trade minister Liz Truss has insisted again that the NHS is not for negotiation in talks with the US, according to City AM

'Hands off the NHS'

Speaking at the Chatham House ‘Global Trade Live’ conference yesterday, Truss said: “Our red lines remain at the heart of this values-driven approach. Namely, our NHS remains off the table.”

Truss added that British food standards and farming could not be undermined by a deal. 

Her comments came as Republican Senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Chuck Grassley, said yesterday that he thinks the NHS should be a talking point in the negotiations. 

A UK-US trade deal “ought to involve almost anything” and the NHS would benefit from increased competition, he said in City AM.

Price hike fear

The UK government continues to reject accusations that US pharmaceutical companies could be allowed to hike up prices as result of a trade deal.

The UK is striving to broker a trade deal with the US by mid-2021 when the Senate’s authority to fast track trade deals expires.

There are fears that the UK could lose impetus in the talks, should a new administration led by Joe Biden result from the US presidential election next week.