President Donald Trump promised the U.S. and U.K. could as much as triple their trade after Brexit, but stirred controversy by hinting that Britain’s government-run health system could be opened to American companies.
Trump said later in an interview with ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” that the U.K.’s National Health Service wouldn’t be part of trade negotiations.
“As the U.K. makes preparations to exit the European Union, the United States is committed to a phenomenal trade deal between the U.S. and the U.K.,” Trump said Tuesday in London during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. “There is tremendous potential in that trade deal. I say probably two or even three times of what we’re doing right now.”
Earlier, he and May hinted at a major obstacle in future talks: U.K.’s cherished NHS, which sets prices and pays for hospital care, drugs and other medical services in the country. Many British politicians oppose including the NHS in trade talks.
Though the President later retreated on his stated desire to have the U.K.'s system of socialized medicine reformed according to American standards, the promise of economic benefits to both countries after Brexit remains strong.