The House of Commons last night voted down an amendment in the name of Caroline Lucas of the English Green Party to protect the NHS from foreign interference after Brexit. Enshrining this amendment in law would have been a step toward protecting the NHS from predatory companies seeking to carve it up as part of any Brexit trade deal.
Caroline Lucas said of the amendment: “We do not want yet more warm words and nice rhetoric, what we want are some red lines in the negotiations, and the way to get them is to write them onto the face of this Bill”.
The list of things covered by the amendment included:
- Protecting NHS staff from having their wages or rights interfered with or negatively impacted by any future trade deal
- Ensuring that the provision of a “comprehensive and publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery” was not derailed by any future trade deal
- Regulating the control and pricing of medicines
- Protecting the safety and qualityof health and care services
- Protecting the NHS from being sued by foreign investors for any measures which harm their profits.
- Protecting patient data and not allowing it to be sold to third parties
Voting was along party lines, with the only party voting against the amendment being the Conservatives, including the six from Scotland. No Scottish MP from any other party voted against the amendment.
The six Tory MPs from Scotland who voted against the amendment are:
Alister Jack, the current Secretary of State for Scotland (Dumfried and Galloway)
David Mundell, the former Secretary of State for Scotland (Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)
David Duguid (Banff and Buchan)
Andrew Bowie (West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine)
John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Douglas Ross (Moray)
This vote paves the way for crippling changes to the NHS following Brexit deals with the US and other countries. The vote last night also took further scrutiny of future trade deals out of the hands of the UK Parliament.
The full breakdown of the vote can be seen on the link below: