NHS must be protected in Brexit trade deals, says Plaid Cymru

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Jonathan Edwards warns public services at risk of privatisation in Tory trade deals

Plaid Cymru has warned that the NHS could be opened up to privatisation in future Tory trade deals, thanks to the Prime Minister’s extreme Brexit proposals.

The party’s International Trade spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, accused Westminster of using Brexit to achieve the Tories’ “ultimate goal” of opening up the UK’s public services to privatisation and vested interests.

A trade deal between the EU and the USA, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or ‘TTIP’, was opposed by a majority of EU countries and was criticised heavily for potentially putting the NHS at risk of privatisation. The Conservative UK Government was one of a minority of EU member states in favour of the trade deal.

Jonathan Edwards has warned that with “Tory extremists” in full control of Westminster, and with Donald Trump keen to “get his hands on the UK’s public services”, the NHS is more exposed than ever to being taken over by “profiteering vested interests”.

Earlier this week US President, Donald Trump, indicated that he is enthusiastic about signing a trade deal with the British State “as soon as possible”.

Plaid Cymru’s International Trade spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, said:

“The UK Prime Minister’s decision to pursue the most extreme Brexit possible will open up our public services to privatisation and vested interests, and allow the Tories to achieve their ultimate goal of allowing our NHS to be used to line the pockets of profiteering shareholders.

“Extremist Tories will now be in full control of the British State’s trade policy and it is deeply concerning to me to see them already cosying up to Trump, who is clearly desperate to get his hands on the UK’s public services.

“The Brexiteers in UKIP and the Tories used the NHS to deceive the people of these islands. They misled the people into thinking voting ‘Leave’ was the way to protect our NHS when in fact, the NHS is now more exposed than ever to being taken over by profiteering vested interests.

“Previous attempts to open up the NHS to privatisation have been resisted thanks to cooperation between many EU countries but with the Prime Minister paving the way for an extreme Brexit, our NHS and other public services will be in the hands of the most extreme wing of the Tory party whose only interest is private profit.

“Dangerous trade deals in the past, such as the EU-USA trade deal, TTIP, was vehemently opposed by a majority of EU countries but one of the only EU member states in favour of it was Tory UK. Unless we fight tooth and nail against this Westminster government our NHS will be at serious risk.

“The Prime Minister must make a very clear promise that our public services will not be part of any trade deal, with the USA or any other country. Millions of ‘Leave’ voters voted for Brexit on the false premise that it would help the NHS, not sell it off.

“Plaid Cymru will oppose this right-wing government at every step of the way.”

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