US President Donald Trump will land in the United Kingdom on Monday amid rising trade turbulence. US has demanded access to the NHS in any post-Brexit deal
US President Donald Trump will land in the UK on Monday. The visit has come amid anger over the US Ambassador’s comments on NHS business access for the United States.
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom and President Trump’s close ally, Woody Johnson had asserted that UK’s NHS should be part of all future trade deliberations.
On Sunday, Johnson affirmed that the UK would need to allow US agricultural products and US Private sector involvement in NHS under any post-Brexit trade deal.
He had said, “I think the entire economy, in a trade deal, all things that are traded would be on the table.”
When asked specifically about the National Health Service (NHS), he said, “I would think so”.
This has evoked serious criticism from the British opposition. Westminster shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth said, “The ambassador’s comments are terrifying.”
Ashworth further added, “A real consequence of a no-deal Brexit, followed by a trade deal with Trump, will be our NHS up for sale. This absolutely should not be on the table.”
The British opposition leader asserted, “Nigel Farage [Leader of the Brexit Party] and the Tories want to rip apart our publicly funded and provided NHS. Labour will always defend it.”
President Trump’s visit will also be accompanied by negotiations pertaining to Chinese tech giant Huawei’s investment in UK’s 5G network.
Soon after the US Ambassador called it a “big risk”, Tories suggested they could tear up plans of partnership with Huawei.
Before leaving for the UK, President Trump told the press, “[We’re] going to the UK. I think it’ll be very important. It certainly will be very interesting.”
“There’s a lot going on in the UK. And I’m sure it’s going to work out very well for them,” he added.
Speaking of trade, the President said, “There’s an opportunity for a very big trade deal at some point in the near future. And we’ll see how that works out.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the visit marked “a significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership.”
She added, “We are the largest investors in each other’s economies and our strong trading relationship and close business links create jobs, opportunities and wealth for our citizens.”
On day one of the visit, President Trump will meet the Queen at the Buckingham Palace.