IT is often said that we do not miss things until they have gone. For the past year, Boris Johnson has been in trade negotiations with the US. He has refused time and again to put protections for the NHS into the negotiations.

The US side have insisted that “everything is on the table”. We already know that the US want greater access to the NHS market for their pharmaceutical companies and for their big healthcare providers.

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It seems that the NHS is being put up for privatisation, not all at once but via a step-by-step approach. Then one day it would be gone, sold off to big companies. We know from the experience south of the Border that handing the track and trace system to Serco was a disaster, but still Serco was paid by taxpayers for failure.

Then, as in the US, we would have to make decisions about whether we could afford treatments for ourselves and our loved ones or, if we couldn’t, have to let ourselves, and them, suffer or die. Let’s keep the NHS in public hands. We’d miss it desperately if it wasn’t! Ask a poor American!

Bob Gillespie