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Labour says U.K. government holding secret talks to sell NHS to U.S.

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn   | Photo Credit: AFP

Corbyn shows papers on trade negotiations to attack Johnson

The leader of Britain’s main opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of secretly negotiating the basis of a trade deal with the U.S. ahead of the country’s departure with the European Union, including a contentious plan to extend patents for American drug companies.

The Labour Party’s Corbyn waved 451 pages of documents at a press conference on Wednesday, declaring that they covered six rounds of negotiations beginning in July 2017 — preliminary soundings ahead of formal trade talks.

With the future of the National Health Service in focus in the December 12 general election, Mr. Corbyn highlighted the drug price issue and argued that extending patents would boost the profits of big pharmaceutical companies at the expense of taxpayers, who would be barred from buying cheaper generic drugs.

“We have got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale,” Mr. Corbyn said.

Mr. Johnson described Mr. Corbyn’s claims as “an absolute invention,” and “completely untrue.”

“We are absolutely resolved that there will be no sale of the NHS, no privatisation,” Mr. Johnson told the BBC.

“The NHS is not on the table in any way... in no aspect whatever.”

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 7:52:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/labour-says-uk-government-holding-secret-talks-to-sell-nhs-to-us/article30099810.ece

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