Dunne seeks assurances that future trade agreements will not impact adversely on the NHS

25th April 2019

Philip Dunne secures assurances from the Secretary of State for International Trade that future trade agreements will not impact adversely on the values, standards and funding model of the NHS.

Free Trade Agreements: NHS/Public Services

9. If he will ensure that future free trade agreements do not (a) lower standards in and (b) lead to the privatisation of the NHS. [910518]

As we leave the European Union, the Government will ensure that all future trade agreements continue to protect the UK’s right to regulate public services, including the NHS. I have been clear on a number of occasions that more trade should not come at the expense of the high levels of quality and protection enjoyed in the UK.
 

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s comments earlier on trade agreements and the NHS. As a former clinician, can he confirm categorically that future trade agreements will not impact adversely on the values, standards or funding model of the NHS?

As I said, it is very important that NHS policy and management are decided by British political debate, not from outside. We have had considerable success in utilising the private sector to augment the NHS. As Andy Burnham said, the previous Labour Government worked with the private sector to bring down NHS waiting lists, and they came right down. I would hope that any future Labour Government would have exactly the same freedoms to use the same policies.

Hansard

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