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Joe Biden is on course to win the race for the White House on November 3, with many leading polls putting the former vice-president ahead of his Republican rival Donald Trump. The current US President had previously flirted with the idea of including the NHS in any free trade deal – however, Mr Trump was quickly shut down by the Westminster Government.
According to Inderjeet Parmar, Professor of International Politics at the City University London, Mr Biden would be under greater pressure from left-wing Democrats and pharmaceutical giants to include healthcare in any future agreement.
Professor Parmar suggested Mr Biden’s running mate – California Senator Kamala Harris – would bring a renewed focus of health and the environment to Brexit talks
The vice-president nominee had previously backed plans by left-wing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for state-funded healthcare.
Mr Sanders, who dropped out of the Democratic race in April, has constantly called for a Medicare for All plan to tackle private firms and nationalise the health insurance industry.
Professor Parmar told Express.co.uk: “Kamala Harris in terms of her politics and approach to her international relations would reinforce tendencies you would find in Biden administration.
“She would reinforce the idea that there ought to be respect for environmental, health and safety standards within any agreement, which I think would be a change of emphasis from the current administration.”
When asked whether Ms Harris’ endorsement of public healthcare would have an effect on the NHS, Professor Parmar added: “I think it would, because there would be a bit more pressure from the progressive left.
“A – for something approaching Medicare for All – although that actually is not actually the official policy of either Harris or Biden, but certainly a public option which is a little step towards a public healthcare provision.
“I think there will be greater sympathy or empathy for protecting the NHS, but I think at the same time the power of the pharmaceutical companies and the hospitals, I think is still very great, so the lobbying of the Biden Presidency would be very intense as well.
“So I think it would be quite a tough position and Britain would have to be ready to stick to its guns on that.”
The real possibility of the NHS being on the table in talks was put forward by Mr Trump in June 2019.
The US President said: “When you’re dealing in trade, everything is on the table.”
The Prime Minister has constantly said the NHS would not form any part of negotiations and firmly rejected Mr Trump’s stance when questioned in parliament in July last year.
In the Commons, he said: “Under no circumstances would we agree to any deal, any free trade deal that put the NHS on the table. It is not for sale.”
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Following a continued public backlash, during his last visit to the UK in December 2019 to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO, Mr Trump backtracked on his comments and insisted he would not accept the NHS on silver platter.
Mr Trump said: “I don’t even know where that rumour started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it.
“If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it.”
The US election will take place on Tuesday, November 3.
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