THE SNP will seek support from other parties to back their bill to protect the NHS from becoming a Brexit bargaining chip, The National can reveal.

Glenrothes MP Peter Grant will this week present a Private Member’s Bill designed to prevent any future UK Government from agreeing any deal that includes the NHS or drug pricing.

The measure – pledged in the SNP’s General Election manifesto – covers NHS activity in every part of the UK and would also give devolved administrations a final say over whether trade deals impact on their NHS.

The bill will be introduced on Wednesday and comes after US president Donald Trump said “everything was on the table” when it comes to post-Brexit trade agreements with the UK.

That was in a joint press conference with then-Prime Minister Theresa May in June last year, when he stated: “When you’re dealing in trade everything’s on the table, so NHS or anything else or a lot more than that but everything will be on the table, absolutely.”

That provoked Health Secretary Matt Hancock to vow that “the NHS isn’t on the table in trade talks – and never will be,” stating: “Not on my watch.”

And while Trump seemed to U-turn on the statement just one day later, saying “that’s something that I would not consider part of trade, that’s not trade”, Grant says there’s a need for a legal protection against Westminster Government moves that may change the nature of healthcare provision and push up drug prices.

The SNP said: “The NHS Protection Act would enshrine in law that our NHS must be protected as publicly owned, publicly operated, and its services publicly commissioned.”

However, it will take support from MPs across the political spectrum to make the move into law. Grant says it is gaining ground, commenting: “The NHS in Scotland – and all parts of the UK – is precious to those who use it and it is our duty, as elected representatives, to do everything we can to ensure it is protected. It is not for sale at any price.

“While health policy is devolved to Scotland, we cannot currently stop Westminster signing away our NHS in a damaging trade deal, or entering agreements with other nations that would dramatically push up drug prices or risk our public services.

“I am bringing forward a bill that will protect each of the National Health Services across the whole of the UK.

“The SNP will not stand idly by while there is a risk that the Tories will trade away our precious health service that is publicly owned, operated and free at the point of need for a deal with Donald Trump.

“MPs from all parties have previously expressed concern about the threat a trade deal with Donald Trump could pose to the NHS. My bill already has support from MPs in a number of parties and I’m hopeful it will have support from all parties by Wednesday.”

Meanwhile, yesterday Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said any suggestion the UK will have to follow European Union rules and laws after 2021 “just ain’t happening”.

Boris Johnson is expected to use a speech in London today to state that the UK will accept no alignment and no jurisdiction from the European courts.

Raab accused Brussels of trying to “shift the goalposts” since the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration was signed last year, following claims that the EU wants the European Court of Justice to have a role in overseeing disputes in any trade deal with the UK.