The UK government has said that the National Health Service (NHS) will not be on the table in negotiations with the US, adding: “The NHS is not, and never will be, for sale to the private sector”.

At first glance, it may appear that the NHS is no longer under threat from a US-UK trade deal. However, the risk is not that Johnson will sell off the whole NHS to US healthcare firms but that modern trade deals include rules on data flows, market access, investor protection, intellectual property rights and trading services. All these elements of a trade deal with the US will increase the extent to which private firms can operate within the NHS. 

Our NHS deserves better.

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