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  • Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump, in London, Britain, June 4, 2019.

    Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump, in London, Britain, June 4, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 June 2019

“Our NHS is not for sale,” Corbyn said, pledging that “we will fight with every last breath of our body to defend the principle of a healthcare system free at the point of need for everybody as a human right.” 

The U.K.’s Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn stood on Tuesday in front of about 75,000 protestors at the Together Against Trump rally in Whitehall to defend the country’s National Health System, after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested the system is “on the table” in a post-Brexit trade deal.

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“Our NHS is not for sale,” Corbyn said, pledging that “we will fight with every last breath of our body to defend the principle of a healthcare system free at the point of need for everybody as a human right.” 

During a joint press conference with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Tuesday, when asked about the possibility of the NHS being part of any negotiation with the U.K., Trump answered that “when dealing with trade, everything is on the table. So, NHS or anything else. There are a lot more than that. So everything will be on the table. Absolutely.”

The British NHS was established in 1948 as one of the major social reforms following World War II, providing free healthcare for citizens, which many have pointed out is of the cornerstones of British society. This would explain the generalized uproar when the foreign president hinted at the possibility of privatizing the service and handing it to U.S. firms. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, immediately tweeted that  “the NHS isn’t on the table in trade talks – and never will be. Not on my watch.” While Conservative party MPs Dominic Raab, Sam Gyimah, and Rory Stewart also vowed that the NHS would not be part of any trade deal. 

As Tuesday marks Trump's second day of his official three-day state visit, Corbyn also condemned the insults perpetrated by the U.S. head of state to London Mayor Sadiq Khan. 

“I’m proud our city has a Muslim mayor – that we can chase down Islamophobia, antisemitism, any kind of racism,” the Labour leader said, calling out Trump once again for creating a sense of hatred and division in society.

“Look around at this crowd, look at each other. We are young, old, black, white, disabled, LGBTI, we are the whole wonderful mosaic of diversity and inclusion that we represent on this demonstration today,” Corbyn told the protestors, adding that “racism divides, exploitation of minorities divides, brings about hatred, dislike, disdain and a horrible place for individuals to live in.”

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