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PM is attempting to hijack Brexit so he can sell out the NHS, says Corbyn

By Gavin Cordon

Jeremy Corbyn last night accused Boris Johnson of trying to "hijack" Brexit so he can sell out the NHS if he is returned to power in the General Election on December 12.

The Labour leader said the Tories are preparing to unleash "Thatcherism on steroids", opening up the health service to US pharmaceutical companies and stripping workers of their rights.

Speaking in Harlow, he again claimed Mr Johnson is seeking a post-Brexit trade deal with the US that would mean "full market access" to the NHS for US producers, pushing up the cost of medicines.

The Conservatives have consistently denied the NHS would be "on the table" in trade talks with President Donald Trump's administration.

However, Mr Corbyn said it is clear Mr Johnson is preparing to betray pledges he made during the 2016 EU referendum campaign. "What Boris Johnson's Conservatives want is to hijack Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids," he said. "Johnson and the Leave campaign promised to rebuild our NHS. Johnson stood in front of a bus and promised £350m a week for the NHS.

"Now we find out that £500m a week could be taken out of the NHS and handed to big drugs companies under his plans for a sell-out trade deal with Donald Trump."

At the same time the Labour leader said the Conservatives want to strip away a whole raft of employment and environmental protections in a move to a more deregulated US-style economic model.

"Given the chance, they'll run down our rights at work, our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave," he said.

"Given the chance, they'll slash food standards to US levels where 'acceptable levels' of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they'll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.

"And given the chance, they'll water down the rules on air pollution and our environment that keep us safe. They want a race to the bottom in standards and protections."

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