Theresa May refuses to rule out private US firms taking over NHS services

Theresa May refused to guarantee she will not water down food standards or open up the NHS to US firms in a trade deal with Donald Trump.

The Prime Minister faced repeated questions about how much she is prepared to give away, ahead of her face-to-face talks with the President later this week. Jeremy Corbyn urged her to rule out any deal that would give US healthcare giants a toehold in the NHS – after similar concerns over an aborted EU-US agreement. And the SNP raised fears that such a deal will open the door to British supermarkets being stocked with meat produced in unhygienic ways currently outlawed across the EU.

The price of freer transatlantic trade will include the sale of chickens washed with chemicals – the practice in the US – critics say. In further evidence of growing worries at Westminster over a headlong rush to get close to Mr Trump, a Tory MP demanded a guarantee the UK will not “facilitate torture”.

And Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, urged her to take along UK scientists who could convince the President that climate change is “not a hoax invented by the Chinese”.

Full story in The Independent, 25 January 2017