Cotswold MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown voted against an amendment aimed at protecting the NHS from any form of control from outside the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit trade deal.
The amendment to the Government’s Trade Bill, which was put forward by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and supported by Labour leader Keir Starmer and a number of other senior Labour MPs, was voted down by 340 votes to 251 in parliament last night.
North Wiltshire MP James Gray did not take part in the vote.
The amendment, New Clause 17, contained other measures, including:
Ensuring the ability to provide a ‘comprehensive and publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery’ was not compromised by any future trade deal
Protecting hard-working NHS staff from having their wages or rights slashed by any future trade deal
Protecting the quality and saftey of health and care services
Protecting the NHS from so-called investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS) – clauses which allow foreign investors to sue national governments for any measures which harm their profits
These measures will now not be included in the Trade Bill, which MPs passed by a margin of 335 to 243.
The House of Commons said New Clause 17 was intended to “protect the NHS and publicly funded health and care services in other parts of the UK from any form of control from outside the UK.”
The Government said that UK law already offers protections for the NHS, and that any changes would have to come before parliament in order to be implemented.
Conservative ministers have said that the amendments were not needed, and that the NHS will not be up for grabs in a future trade deal.