The Labour party has obtained official documents showing that the US wants the NHS “on the table” for post-Brexit talks. According to Jeremy Corbyn earlier this week, the uncensored documents “leave Boris Johnson’s denials [of the NHS’s exclusion from trade talks] in absolute tatters.” It also reveals the US’s interest in the health system.
“We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed.”
The documents consist of 451 pages and cover six rounds of talks, from July 2017 right up until “just a few months ago.” In a press conference, Corbyn stated that the documents include the US’s preference of a “no-deal Brexit,” the conclusion of a discussion on “lengthening patents” for medicine pricing, and the revelation of the trade deal being at a “very advanced stage.”
On medicine pricing, he added that lengthening patents would lead to more lives put at risk as a result of “more expensive drugs.”
“It costs our NHS £1,409 a packet [for Humira]. In the UK, the same packet costs £8,115. Get the difference: £1,409 in our NHS, £8,115 in the USA … One of the reasons for US drug pricing being on average 250% of those here is a patent regime rigged for the big pharmaceutical companies.”
In response, the Conservatives have accused Labour of diverting attention from anti-Semitism claims, saying that the documents are “simply readouts” from meetings of the UK-US trade and investment working group. They also argue that the document had already been online for two months.
“The NHS is in no way on the table [in trade talks with the US], in no aspect whatever. This is continually brought up by the Labour party as a diversionary tactic from the difficulties they are encountering, particularly the problem about leadership on antisemitism, and then the great vacuity about their policy on Brexit.” 
Some journalists have also dismissed Corbyn’s claims, suggesting they are not as “incriminating” as one might believe.  The Independent’s Benjamin Kentish, in particular, argues that despite there being “little” to suggest the UK has agreed to any of the US’s demands, these demands will “prompt fears” in the minds of the general public.
Having been through the documents published by Labour this morning, very little to suggest that the UK has agreed to any US demands in the areas Jeremy Corbyn laid out. Plus, important to note that all the meetings outlined in the memos took place under the previous government.
— Benjamin Kentish (@BenKentish) November 27, 2019
The document “shows more than the NHS to worry about”
Although Corbyn focused on the NHS, the man who originally received the documents pointed out that many other areas were “just as concerning.”
Nick Dearden, the Director of Global Justice, stated that he was “desperately concerned” upon flicking through the document.
“Not just about the NHS and the health system, but about our food standards, about the kind of laws that may be brought in to regulate big tech – Facebook, Google and Amazon – under a US trade deal.” 
The US’s current food safety system is said to continue the use of chemicals in food, such as chlorine-washed chicken, as a “final double check to remove any traces of pathogens.” The food labelling process also contradicts the current process for the UK. Although the UK has publicly raised awareness of food labels in recent years, the US has argued that labelling high sugar content would not be “particularly useful” in changing consumer behaviour.
As well as this, the issue of climate change is raised in the document. According to the BBC, the UK has signed up to the Paris climate agreement, whereas the US aims to withdraw from it. The agreement aims to tackle climate change as a whole and has set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 
Although some of Corbyn’s claims have been disputed, what is certain is that whoever wins the upcoming election will play a major role in shaping the future of the UK, in the way we eat, pay for our medicines, and in the way in which we look after the world we live in. Let us make our votes count, in shā’ Allāh.
Notes: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/27/jeremy-corbyn-reveals-dossier-proving-nhs-up-for-sale  https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/nov/27/general-election-leaders-try-to-steer-campaign-away-from-race-and-faith-live?page=with:block-5dde7dea8f08dcf251b4a041#block-5dde7dea8f08dcf251b4a041  https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/james-obrien/corbyn-us-document-more-than-nhs-to-worry-about/  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50572502
The views expressed on Islam21c and its connected channels do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation.