Leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to fight US efforts to influence UK’s prestigious National Health Service (NHS).
In an address to people protesting against US President Donald Trump’s visit to Britain on Tuesday, Corbyn said he and the Labour would not allow the Americans to take over the NHS as part of a comprehensive trade deal that could be signed between Britain and the US after UK’s withdrawal from the European Union this year.
“We will not stand for that. We will fight with every last breath of our body to defend the principle of a healthcare system free at the point of need for everybody as a human right,” said Corbyn.
The comments came as Trump said during a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday that the NHS should be on the table during talks to reach a comprehensive trade deal between Washington and London.
Trump seeks to sign a massive deal that could replace many of the trade and business mechanisms currently existing between Britain and the EU.
However, many have warned that the quality of healthcare in Britain could seriously decrease if the Americans are allowed a role in the NHS.
Corbyn said that the Conservative-led government was moving toward a disorderly withdrawal from the EU, known as the no-deal Brexit, while trying to allow the US to have a bigger say in the key infrastructure in Britain.
“We’re in the midst of a debate about the future of the relationship between Britain and Europe and the rest of the world,” he said, adding, “But it should not be a debate about how we go forward with no deal at the same time as offering up our precious, wonderful National Health Service to private American companies to come in and take it over.”