Trump reverses, says he doesn’t see British health service being part of potential UK trade deal

President Trump on Tuesday walked back prior remarks that Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) should be included in ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and the U.K.

The president said during a press conference earlier Tuesday that “everything” should be on the table in trade talks, including the possibility of the U.K.’s publicly-funded health care system. The comments caused a stir, as British politicians have insisted that offering up NHS contracts to U.S. companies be off limits.{mosads}

But in an interview with Piers Morgan later in the day, Trump clarified that the NHS would not be included in negotiations.

“I don’t see it being on the table,” Trump said in an interview set to air Wednesday morning in the U.K. “Somebody asked me a question today and I say everything is up for negotiation, because everything is.”

“But I don’t see that as being, that’s something that I would not consider part of trade,” he added. “That’s not trade.”

Trump said during a joint press conference with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that he believes the two countries will be able to establish a “great and very comprehensive trade deal.” Asked if the NHS, the U.K.’s publicly-funded health care system, should be included, Trump said yes.

“Look, I think everything with a trade deal is on the table,” he said. “When you’re dealing with trade, everything’s on the table. So, NHS or anything else. Or a lot more than that. But everything will be on the table. Absolutely.”

Multiple politicians vying to replace May as prime minister have said they would rule out including the NHS in any prospective trade deal. Such a deal will need to wait until the U.K. approves its exit from the European Union.

A recent YouGov U.K. survey found that those surveyed view the NHS highly, with the health service coming in second among institutions respondents were most proud of, behind the fire brigade.

Tags Donald Trump Theresa May

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