NHS and Trade Deals

I welcome that the UK's exit from the European Union affords our country the opportunity to pursue an ambitious trade agenda by striking new trade agreements with countries across the globe.

On the specific issue of public healthcare, the Government is committed to protecting the NHS. The NHS is safeguarded by specific exemptions in all EU trade agreements and, as our country leaves the EU, the UK will continue to ensure that rigorous protections for the NHS are included in all trade agreements it is party to. I welcome that the Prime Minister once again ruled out healthcare being any part of a trade deal with the USA in his first address to the House of Commons.

The Government is committed to transparency and scrutiny of its trade agreements. The Government has committed to Parliament scrutinising our future trade arrangements. Parliament will be able to inform negotiations, be regularly updated, and will ultimately play its role in the ratification of any new Free Trade Agreement through the process set out in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. Moreover, the Government also had the largest ever response to the public consultation on future free trade agreements and recently held a debate in Parliament on these. I am confident these measures will ensure that both the public and parliamentarians get the chance to have their say on future trade agreements.