LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn was accused of “out-and-out lying” yesterday after his dramatic claims that the Tories were putting the NHS “up for sale” in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US.

With a flourish of prestidigitation worthy of Harry Houdini, Corbyn produced what he said were 451 pages of unredacted government documents from UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) talks dating from July 2017 to last July, which he said showed the NHS would be “on the table” in talks with Donald Trump’s administration.

Corbyn told a press conference in London they were the full version of papers previously only released in a censored form by the Government.

However, the Tories accused him of deliberately taking passages out of context from documents which had been publicly available online for weeks.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “Jeremy Corbyn is getting desperate and is out-and-out lying to the public about what these documents contain.”

Boris Johnson, campaigning in Cornwall, described the claims as “total nonsense”.

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Corbyn said the documents, covering six rounds of talks between British and US officials, showed discussions were at a “very advanced stage”, with the two sides already concluding discussions on lengthening patents.

“Longer patents can only mean one thing – more expensive drugs. Lives will be put at risk as a result of this,” he said. “We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale. He tried to cover it up in a secret agenda and today it has been exposed.

“These uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson’s denials in absolute tatters.”

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But the Tories hit back, saying that British officials were actually flagging a potential issue which needed to be avoided in future trade talks.

The papers echoed fears expressed in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme last month, which said the price the NHS pays for US medicines could “soar” under a post-Brexit trade deal with the US. It said despite Johnson’s claim that the NHS “is not on the table”, sources with knowledge of the trade talks questioned whether that was the whole story.

Dr Philippa Whitford, SNP candidate for Central Ayrshire and a consultant breast surgeon, said: “We cannot take the risk of letting the Tories in, and watching them trade away our precious health service that is publicly owned, operated and free at the point of need for a deal with Donald Trump. It is only the SNP that has proposed a legal ban on using the NHS in trade talks, and is giving people the double-lock of ensuring that no action can be taken to include the NHS without the permission of any parliament.

The National:

“There would be no negotiations over the NHS or access to drugs without ministers’ permission and the fact that the Tories have allowed this to happen shows exactly what their plans are.”

The NHS was not the only cause for concern in the leaked papers, which trade campaigners said showed the US Government pushing Britain into as hard a Brexit as possible because they saw it as the best way of benefitting the US economy. They said they showed that Johnson’s Government was dancing to the tune of US multinationals.

One of the biggest changes Johnson made to Theresa May’s “Chequers proposal” was to remove the long-term linking of British and European benchmarks, threatening food and other standards under a US trade deal.

Global Justice Now said its analysis of the papers showed the US pushing lower food standards on a post-Brexit Britain, including allowing imports of chlorine-washed chickens, less nutritional labelling on foods, and less protection for regional food like Stilton cheese.

It said the US had also banned any mention of climate change in a US-UK trade deal and officials had threatened UK civil servants that they would undermine US trade talks if they supported certain EU positions in international forums.

A US suggestion of a “corporate court system” in a transatlantic partnership would allow big business to sue the British government, in secret and without appeal, for anything they regarded as “unfair.”

American officials were also pushing for far-reaching proposals on the digital economy, giving big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon sweeping freedoms to move and use our online data, which would make taxing and regulating them more difficult.

Global Justice Now director, Nick Dearden, said: “No wonder the Government didn’t want us to see these papers: they clearly show the British negotiators being bullied by Trump’s administration, and Boris Johnson dancing to the tune of US big business.

“Boris Johnson’s position on Brexit is clearly dictated by what’s best for US corporations, even when he knows this will be worse for the British economy and British welfare.

“The US is demanding damaging changes to the British economy which threaten our public services like the NHS, our food standards and farmer livelihoods, our access to new cancer medicines, and our ability to tackle climate change.

“US officials are damning about parliamentary scrutiny over safety standards and are even trying to dictate what positions Britain can take in international fora. Both sides are committed to as much secrecy as possible in these trade talks.

“These papers make a mockery of Boris Johnson’s manifesto pledge to protect British public services and standards – that would be absolutely impossible under the type of trade deal being discussed here.”