Thank you for writing to me about the NHS and the Trade Bill. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
I appreciate that you have some concerns about future trade arrangements, and I would like to assure you that the NHS will be protected in any future agreement, including one with the United States.
I would also just like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our NHS heroes and to acknowledge the terrific work that they, and so many other key workers, have been doing in the fight against coronavirus.
The Trade Bill is an important piece of legislation which has a number of practical functions.
The UK has been working to reach continuity agreements with countries who we currently trade with through EU trade deals. The Trade Bill will enable these continuity agreements to be embedded into UK law so that the agreements can be fully implemented.
In addition, in leaving the EU, the UK will be acceding to the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in its own right. The Bill’s provisions will make sure the UK can implement procurement obligations under the Agreement, ensuring continued access to £1.3 trillion per year of global procurement opportunities for UK businesses.
The Bill will also facilitate the creation of a new Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), to deliver a new UK trade remedies framework, which among other things will include protections for UK businesses from unfair trade practices or unforeseen import surges.
It is important to make clear that the Trade Bill is a continuity Bill, and its functions are largely distinct from the Government’s future trade agreements programme. Indeed, the Bill cannot be used to implement new free trade agreements with other countries, including the United States. The Bill simply enables the 40 free trade agreements that the EU had signed with third countries before the UK exited to be transitioned.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trade-bill
With regard to securing a deal with the US, there are huge potential benefits from such a deal and everyone should wish for these negotiations to go ahead and come to a satisfactory conclusion. I also have every confidence that the Government will secure excellent trade deals around the world, in addition to any deal with the US. Please also note that Parliament will have to approve each and every deal before they can come into operation
As I say, I hugely value the NHS and the exceptional efforts of its staff, and I would like to assure you that the NHS will be protected in any future trade agreement, including with the United States. I am sure that Parliament will only approve trade deals that potentially benefit the NHS and our health sector, and will certainly not approve any deal which would damage them.
Thank you once again for writing to me about this important matter.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking