Labour’s John McDonnell has accused Donald Trump of having a “passing relationship with reality and truth” after the President’s rambling speech about how America wants “nothing to do with” the NHS, even if it was “handed to us on a silver platter”, as he arrived in London for the Nato summit.
But McDonnell insisted Jeremy Corbyn would work with the US president. The shadow chancellor said “all the evidence” points to the NHS being on the table during trade talks with the US despite Mr Trump’s denials.
Last week, the Labour Party leader revealed an unredacted report the government had tried to keep secret that gave details of meetings between US and UK officials, where they discussed the stipulations of a free trade deal between the two nations after Britain leaves the European Union.
The document included confirmation of a round of meetings “dedicated solely to patents and pharmaceuticals”, where officials explained how drugs were approved for use on the NHS and described a US request for “total market access” to UK public services – a form of privatisation – as a “baseline” for an agreement.
The United State’s negotiating objectives, a public document, include the demand that “state-owned enterprises” should “accord non-discriminatory treatment with respect to the purchase and sale of goods and services.”
It also calls for “full market access for US products” for medical equipment and medicines which would see medical treatment costs sky-rocketing as the US has some of the highest medical costs in the world.
Jeremy Corbyn has formally asked for “a revision of the US negotiating objectives along these lines would go a long way to reassuring the British public that the US government will not be seeking total market access to the UK public services – that the NHS will not be on the table in US-UK trade negotiations, that a US-UK trade deal will not open up NHS services to irreversible privatisation, and that the US government accepts that our NHS is not for sale in any form.”
Brits don’t believe Boris Johnson will protect the NHS from Donald Trump
Almost half of Brits think Boris Johnson is lying about protecting NHS from Trump. Only 18% of people believed the Tories would keep the NHS publicly-run, according to a Survation poll. The British public are ‘firmly against’ an NHS sell-off.
Despite all the mounting evidence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been defending the revelations that the NHS is up for grabs in leaked trade negotiations, calling them “complete nonsense”.
But McDonnell said on Wednesday that “all the evidence that we’ve seen has demonstrated objectively that it is”, despite the denials of Trump and Johnson.
McDonnell’s words echo former Conservative Party chairman Lord Patten’s warning yesterday that Donald Trump and Boris Johnson share an “elastic relationship with the truth.”
In a rambling address as world leader waited to meet Donald Trumpet the NATO summit, the President also denied knowing Prince Andrew, who like Trump is under fire for his connections with sex trafficking tycoon Jeffrey Epstein, though footage very quickly emerged of the President with the Duke of York.
Speaking during a campaign visit to Birmingham on Wednesday, McDonnell said: “Donald Trump has a passing relationship with reality and truth sometimes.
“I believe in one instance he claimed he didn’t know what the initials NHS stood for.
“So the reality is the evidence is there and the anxiety that we have about the NHS under a Boris Johnson regime and his relationship with Trump causes us extreme concern.”
Johnson said the NHS was not discussed with Mr Trump when the pair met, and asked if they spoke about the NHS, he told broadcasters in Milton Keynes: “I think everybody by now has rumbled all that for the complete nonsense that it is and the answer is no.”
The Prime Minister was earlier pressed about what he thought of Mr Trump personally, to which he replied: “I’ve of course had very good relations with the United States and any UK prime minister is there to ensure we protect the transatlantic partnership.”
Johnson did not address a question about footage which appeared to show him and other Nato leaders mocking Mr Trump.
The PM claimed it was “absurd” that others such as the Labour party leader were “so viscerally hostile to the United States.”
Labour’s £7,000 boost to every family
Meanwhile on the campaign trail, Labour vowed to end “rip-off Britain” as party research alleges the Tories have cost families nearly £6,000 a year by failing to curb rising bills.
By contrast, Labour says its plans to nationalise key utilities and increase wages will make households nearly £7,000 better off each year if it wins the December 12 election.
The Tories insisted Labour’s vow to reduce living costs “defies belief.”
John McDonnell vowed to “abolish poverty” as he highlighted the scale of inequality in the UK during the Birmingham speech, while Labour criticised the Conservatives for creating a “cost-of-living crisis”.