Jeremy Corbyn says he has proof Tories have put NHS on the table in US trade talks

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn holds a redacted copy of the Department for International Trade's UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group readout as he delivers a speech about the NHS, in Westminster, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 27, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will never put the NHS ‘up for sale’ (Picture: PA)

Jeremy Corbyn has produced a 451-page un-redacted government document that he claims confirms the NHS is on the table in trade talks with the US.

The Labour leader gave a speech on the NHS in Westminster, where he accused the Conservatives of ‘selling-out’ the NHS for a deal with Donald Trump.

He told the audience: ‘Labour will never use the NHS as a bargaining chip in trade talks with anybody’.

Up until now, the government has only published heavily redacted documents on its post-Brexit trade talks.

Boris Johnson has denied ever raising the sale of Britain’s National Health Service in such talks.

The Labour leader said the uncensored papers his party had obtained – called UK-US Trade Working Group – ‘leaves Boris Johnson’s denials in tatters’.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Documents related to post-Brexit UK-US Trade talks are distributed to media by members of NHS staff during an election policy announcement on the NHS at church house n Westminster on November 27, 2019 in London, England. The United Kingdom's will go to the polls in a general election on December 12. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The papers were distributed to media at the press conference by members of NHS staff (Picture: Getty)

He told the news conference: ‘We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale.

‘He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed.’

The 451 pages of documents cover six rounds of talks from July 2017 to ‘just a few months ago’, Mr Corbyn said.

It is understood the meetings took place in Washington and London.

Mr Corbyn said: ‘We are talking here about secret talks for a deal with Donald Trump after Brexit.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Veysey/REX (10486218a) Jeremy Corbyn holds up the released redacted report alongside the original report whilst making a statement on the NHS Labour Party General Election campaigning, London, UK - 27 Nov 2019

Up until now, the government has only published heavily redacted information on its trade talks (Picture: Rex)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn presents documents related to post-Brexit UK-US Trade talks as he speaks during an election policy announcement on the NHS at church house n Westminster on November 27, 2019 in London, England. The United Kingdom's will go to the polls in a general election on December 12. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The 451 pages of documents cover six rounds of talks from July 2017 to ‘just a few months ago’, Mr Corbyn said (Picture: Getty)

On medicine pricing, he said discussions had already been concluded between the two sides on lengthening patents.

‘Longer patents can only mean one thing – more expensive drugs. Lives will be put at risk as a result of this,’ he said.

A key section of the documents relating to this claim states: ‘The impact of some patent issues raised on NHS access to generic drugs (i.e. cheaper drugs) will be a key consideration going forward.’
Mr Corbyn pointed to the example to the drug Humira to back up his statement, which is used to treat Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
It costs the NHS £1,409 a packet, while in the US the price of Humira is £8,115.

Just an hour before Mr Corbyn took to the stage, the PM tweeted to say the NHS ‘will not be on the table’ for future trade negotiations.

And responding to the leak, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss accused Labour of ‘out-and-out lying’ in saying the NHS was for sale.

Image ??Licensed to i-Images Picture Agency. 27/11/2019. St Ives, United Kingdom. Boris Johnson General Election Campaign Day 20. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits West Cornwall Community Hospital, Penzance, Cornwall, with Derek Thomas, candidate and Paul Sylvester on day 20 of his 2019 General Election Camapign. Picture by Andrew Parsons / i-Images

Boris Johnson met NHS nurses and doctors at West Cornwall Community Hospital in Penzance, Cornwall today (Picture: i-Images)

She said the NHS was only mentioned four times in the documents – which she said have been online for months – and the NHS, drugs and pharmaceuticals were not mentioned at all in the most recent discussions between UK and US officials.

Ms Truss said: ‘Jeremy Corbyn is getting desperate and is out-and-out lying to the public about what these documents contain. He has always believed in conspiracy theories – which is why he has failed to crack down on the scourge of anti-Semitism in his party.

‘This is the man that has caused huge offence by blaming an imaginary ‘Zionist lobby’ for society’s ills and now he has decided to smear UK officials too.

‘People should not believe a word that he says – this stunt is simply a smokescreen for the fact that he has no plan for Brexit and that he has been forced to admit that he wants to increase taxes for millions of families.

‘As we have consistently made clear, the NHS will not be on the table in any future trade deal and the price that the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. This sort of conspiracy theory fuelled nonsense is not befitting of the leader of a major political party.’

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During a question and answer session following the press conference, the Labour leader was grilled for refusing to apologise for his party’s handling of anti-Semitism during a ‘car crash’ interview with the BBC.

Mr Corbyn said: ‘I have made very clear antisemitism is completely wrong in our society and our party did make it clear when I was elected leader and after that, that antisemitism is unacceptable in any form in our party or our society and did indeed offer its sympathies and apologies to those who had suffered.’

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