Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey has warned that the NHS could suffer from a US-UK trade deal in light of recent uncensored documents unveiled by the Labour Party.

A conference held in London by the Labour Party was set to expose the Conservatives’ plan to ‘sell off’ the NHS to US companies, yet the NHS was seemingly unmentioned specifically.

Mrs Long-Bailey claims that the NHS was discussed by the Conservative government and US officials in a series of meetings dating back to 2017, under the guise of “services” to cover up potential backlash.

She added:”The US has stated that they wanted to have market access to services and that is very very worrying, and that’s why we had experts looking at the potential arrangements.

“Dr Andrew Hill stated that it could cost the NHS up to £500 million a week if US pharma companies encourage the UK to push up pharma prices in line with US companies, which has certainly been the direction of travel and that has been referred to in the talks.”

She further explained how this could have a ‘detrimental’ impact on the NHS if drug pricing and patents changed on the basis of Donald Trump condemning “global freeloading” when it comes to how much other countries pay for medicine.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn claimed at the conference, that Britain would be at risk of patents extending and said: “Longer patents can only mean one thing: more expensive drugs.

“Lives will be put at risk as a result of this.”

An infographic showing a comparison between UK and US prices for medicine (CC: Zoe Bott)

Long-Bailey also voices how she fears the NHS may fall victim to a US-style insurance system and may no longer be free at the point of use if these talks progress too far.

However, Salford Conservative candidate, Attika Choudhary denies these claims and said: “We have said that our NHS is not for sale, simple as that.”

She indicates that no trade agreements have been made with any country yet and the Conservative Party’s priority is to negotiate a deal with EU first and foremost.

Yet, when asked to guarantee there would be no further privatisation or future trade deals that would put our NHS in jeopardy, Choudhary responded: “Well we said first of all we need to get Brexit done and then we can take it from there.

“We cannot have negotiations with anybody right now until Brexit is done.”

Although these talks have been described as a US wish-list, Rebecca Long-Bailey has concerns over why the UK government would not ‘categorically rule out’ the NHS being on the table and some people in Salford seem to be echoing these concerns.

A billboard by ‘Led By Donkeys’, set up in Salford, depicts an image of the US President dressed in a doctor’s mask with the caption ‘Look who’s coming for our NHS’.

The General Election for 2019 occurs on 12th December and you can find your local polling station here.

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