A late game-changer in the British elections, courtesy of Trump
With only two weeks to go before Britain's general election, the Tories are on track to gain 47 seats in Parliament according to polls. Almost all of those gains will come at the expense of Labour, as years of an extremely biased and hostile press has taken its toll.
And then a bombshell landed today.
Labour has obtained official documents showing that the US is demanding that the NHS will be “on the table” in talks on a post-Brexit trade deal, Jeremy Corbyn has said.
The Labour leader said the uncensored papers gave the lie to Boris Johnson’s claims that the NHS would not be part of any trade talks, and revealed that the US wanted “total market access” after the UK leaves the EU.
“The uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson’s denials in absolute tatters,” he said at a news conference in London. “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.”
Corbyn said the 451 pages of documents covered six rounds of talks from July 2017 to “just a few months ago”. He said the meetings took place in Washington and London. “We are talking here about secret talks for a deal with Donald Trump after Brexit,” he said.
Responding to the Labour claims, the Conservatives said the documents had already been online for two months and were simply readouts from meetings of the UK-US trade and investment working group.
First of all, that's NOT a denial of accuracy or content, Conservatives.
Secondly, this is a BIG deal. Just look at what the other parties are saying.
Meanwhile the SNP has published its manifesto which includes a pledge to "stop the NHS becoming a lever in any international trade deal" through its NHS Protection Act.
And other parties have criticised the Tories, including Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit secretary Tom Brake, who said the public would be "horrified by what looks like a deal cooked up between the Tories and Donald Trump that puts our NHS on the table".
Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas said the Conservative Party "can no longer claim the NHS is not for sale", adding: "Under their watch, it is."
The NHS in Britain is like Social Security in America - no one is going to admit to wanting to gut it.
For example, consider what the hyper-capitalist Financial Times wrote this past summer.
Donald Trump made a number of contentious statements during his visit to Britain this week, but his assertion that the UK’s National Health Service would be “on the table” in discussions about any post-Brexit US-UK trade agreement was by far the most controversial.
Britons see their taxpayer-funded, free-at-the-point-of-use health system not just as a source of medical treatment but as a vital expression of national values of equity and compassion. The US health system, in contrast, is reviled as its antithesis because it links treatment to the ability to pay.
Trump, who said during a visit to Britain in June that everything including health would be on the table in trade talks but then backtracked and said health would not be, told LBC radio that Corbyn’s claim was ridiculous and he did not know where it came from.
Asked about whether the health service would be up for grabs in trade talks, Trump said: “No, not at all, we wouldn’t even be involved in that, no.”
“No. It’s not for us to have anything to do with your healthcare system,” he said. “No, we’re just talking about trade.”
Trump is a liar, and Boris Johnson is a liar.
The question is: what is more important to the British voters - a no-deal Brexit or the NHS?