As Tories plot sell-off of NHS to Trump, MEPs stand up for British businesses and consumers against US tariff war

29 November 2019

While the Tories plot to sell-off the NHS to Donald Trump, Labour MEPs today voted for a resolution condemning the US government’s unilateral imposition of tariffs on EU agricultural products in its disproportionate response to the WTO Airbus case.

British goods affected by the Trump tariffs include: single-malt (or straight) Irish and Scotch whiskies; wool and cashmere sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts and waistcoats; fine wool suits; bed linen; cotton blankets; women’s nightwear; pork products; fresh cheese; yoghurt, butter and Stilton.

MEPs also voted today to reaffirm the highest standards for beef imports - again in contrast to the Tory government, which as well as selling off the NHS, may also have to accept hormone-treated beef as the price of a trade deal with Donald Trump.

Seb Dance MEP, Labour’s deputy leader in the European Parliament and spokesperson on agriculture, said:

“On the one hand, we have Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Tories genuflecting to Donald Trump and US drug companies, plotting to sell off our NHS; on the other, Labour MEPs and our friends and allies in the European Union, standing up for British businesses and consumers, vehemently opposing Trump’s tariffs on major agricultural products.

“If it wasn’t already clear what the choice facing British people is, this week’s events have made it starker than stark - we will either end up as the playthings of Donald Trump, the NHS butchered and bought up by US drug companies, or we have a chance to have a referendum and remain in the EU, maintaining our standards and saving our NHS.”

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on international trade, added:

“Today’s votes yet again highlight that it is the EU, and not Donald Trump, that is on our side. While Boris Johnson and the Tories plot to sell off the NHS against the interests of the British people, our European friends and partners have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us against Trump’s attacks on our industries, upon which thousands of jobs depend.

“And the European Parliament has also voted today to maintain the highest standards for beef imports from the US. Once again, the contrast is clear: under the Tories, the risk of chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-treated beef; inside the EU, higher food standards, stronger workplace rights, greater environmental protections and no NHS sell-off.”

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