SCOTLAND’S NHS could be up for sale if MPs back the controversial Tory Internal Market Bill, the SNP has warned.

They described the legislation as a “Trojan Horse” which could lead to the “kind of creeping privatisation already seen” in the health service south of the Border.

The SNP, along with the LibDems, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Greens and Alliance Party, have tabled a wrecking amendment to the legislation which, if backed by enough MPs, would see it completely rejected.

Speaking ahead of today’s debate, the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said: “This Tory power grab is a Trojan Horse Bill, which could open Scotland’s NHS and water services up to the kind of creeping privatisation and deregulation that we are already seeing under the Tories in England.

“The whole thrust of Boris Johnson’s bill is to restrict devolved policy choices and impose Westminster decisions on Scotland. It includes a Trojan Horse clause to allow Tory ministers to encroach in the future even further on devolution against the will of the Scottish Parliament.

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“This bill must be stopped in its tracks. The Tory Government has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. It freely admits it is willing to break international law, impose an extreme Brexit, and destroy the foundations of Scotland’s devolution settlement.

“If Westminster won’t stop this unprecedented attack on devolution, it will demonstrate beyond all doubt that the only way to protect Scotland’s democratic powers, our NHS, and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.”

But the cross-party amendment to the Internal Market Bill, which has its second reading today, is unlikely to pass. Boris Johnson has a majority of 80, and despite a growing backbench rebellion from his own party, there’s little chance of many of his MPs breaking the whip to kill the prospective legislation.

Responding to Blackford’s comments, a Scottish Tory spokesperson said: “Scotland’s NHS is devolved. It is run by the Scottish Government. If he is concerned about it being privatised, Mr Blackford should speak to the person in charge – the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.”

The aim of the legislation is apparently to allow free trade between the UK’s four nations after Britain leaves the EU.

At the heart of the legislation is a “mutual recognition” mechanism. This would see regulations in one part of the UK recognised in all the other nations.

There’s a fear that could ultimately lead to lower standards in food safety and environmental protections being imposed on Scotland.

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The SNP and Labour say it’s likely that, as a part of any post-Brexit trade deal, the US would expect the UK to take American products made from chlorinated chicken.

Yesterday the Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, was asked to rule out the sale of chemically cleaned poultry.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland, the Tory minister said the bill would “protect the internal markets of the United Kingdom”.

“That is what this legislation delivers, we will maintain high standards across the UK and enable Scottish businesses, which do three times more trade with the rest of the UK than they do with the EU, to maintain that business, which is key to protecting jobs in Scotland.”

Asked again to rule out the sale of chlorinated chicken, Barclay added: “I’ve been clear we will maintain high standards. And that includes ensuring that any chicken sold is fit for purpose and maintains high standards.”