Three quarters of Brits want protections for NHS in Trade Bill

Over half the British public don't believe Boris Johnson has taken the NHS "off the table" like he claims


An overwhelming majority of the British public wants to see the NHS protected from trade deals.

According to the poll, 75 per cent of people want the Trade Bill to include specific protections for the NHS compared with 14 per cent of people who don’t.

The survey, conducted by Survation and commissioned by campaign group We Own It, has come out just as parliament is set to debate the next stage of the Trade Bill today (Monday July 20).

Campaigners claim that failing to protect the NHS from trade deals would open up the NHS to being charged more for drugs, enshrine the rights of American healthcare companies to access our NHS in international treaties and “lock in” privatisation that would be incredibly difficult for a future government to reverse.

Boris Johnson has continuously denied these sorts of claims, saying that the NHS is not “on the table” in trade talks with the USA.

But this latest poll found that nearly half of the public don’t believe him when he says this.

Speaking on the poll’s findings, We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “People up and down the country are absolutely furious. They’re totally sick of Boris Johnson’s lies and the carve up of our NHS.

“This government promised us they’d ‘take back control’ but they’re doing the opposite, trying to ban MPs from being able to scrutinise trade deals. They promised to ‘keep the NHS off the table’.

“They’re doing the opposite – privatising our NHS piece by piece and getting it ready to hand over to Trump. It’s disgusting, especially after everything nurses, doctors and healthcare staff have done for us in this pandemic”

“A handful of Conservative MPs are putting forward an amendment that would allow parliament to scrutinise trade deals and protect our NHS. We call on all Conservative MPs to follow their lead.

“This is about basic democracy, basic scrutiny, basic sovereignty. Taking back control should mean having control of our own laws and our own public services – not selling them off to the highest bidder.”

A series of amendments have been submitted to the Trade Bill. Among these is one tabled by Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly which would give parliament the power to scrutinise and vote on future trade deals – a power they currently don’t have.

Many people have come out in support of this proposed amendment, including over 16,000 people writing to their MP asking them to support it too and 1.2 million people signing a petition to Keep Our NHS Public.

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