UNION

Just 17% of public think NHS should be 'on the table' in US trade negotiations

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10 Jun 2019
Press Office

Press Office

A new Survation poll reveals the backlash the Conservatives will face if they try to sell off the NHS to US private healthcare companies.

Just 17% of the public think the NHS should be included in trade deal discussions with the US government in a post-Brexit scenario.

The figures are revealed as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tells GMB’s Annual Congress in Brighton today: ‘whatever Donald Trump says – our NHS will never be ‘on the table’.

Mayor Khan and Donald Trump were involved in a heated online exchange during the President’s trip to the UK last week.

Trump wouldn’t just bite our hand off, he’d rip up our cherished public services in a heartbeat if Tory zealots let him.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary

During the trip, Mr Trump said the NHS should be on the table during post-Brexit trade discussions – before performing a quick U-turn the following day.

The new poll shows similar levels of opposition to selling off the NHS regardless of whether people voted to leave or remain in the European Union in 2016.

Only 17% of the public think the NHS should be 'on the table' in trade negotiations with the United States and a clear majority of supporters of every single party want it excluded.

By contrast 73% of people who voted to leave and 75% who voted to remain in 2016 are opposed to the NHS' inclusion following President's Trump's remarks in the UK last week.

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The poll also reveals that twice as many people expect the US to get the best outcome from any US-UK trade deal (40%) than those who think the UK will be the biggest beneficiary (21%).

A further 24% think both countries would benefit equally. 

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary said:

"Trump wouldn’t just bite our hand off, he’d rip up our cherished public services in a heartbeat if Tory zealots let him.

“Whichever way they voted back in 2016, people are overwhelmingly opposed to allowing our NHS to be up for grabs to US big business interests.

“There is a widespread lack of confidence that the UK would benefit from a trade deal with Trump and a fear that our country would be rich pickings.

“We need a new approach to trade deals which puts the interest of people before corporate profits, not a slippery slope that sees our national assets auctioned off.”

Addressing GMB conference today, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, is expected to say:

“For the last 130 years the GMB – and the Labour Party which it helped create – have won huge improvements to the lives of working people. 

“Securing the right to vote for women. Safety standards in the workplace.  Creating the minimum wage. Outlawing racial discrimination. Decriminalising homosexuality. Legalising women’s rights.  

“And ensuring that our NHS stays free at the point of need – a battle that still continues to this day. Whatever Donald Trump says – our NHS will never be ‘on the table’.”

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