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Public Procurement

Volume 681: debated on Thursday 8 October 2020

What discussions she has had with UK trade partners on ensuring that public procurement is excluded from future trade deals. (907234)

We are delighted that in Geneva yesterday the UK was admitted to the World Trade Organisation’s government procurement agreement, which will secure access to a public procurement market worth £1.3 trillion. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will join me in welcoming this significant step for the UK as an independent trading nation.

The NHS currently strikes huge multi-billion-pound deals with drug providers around Europe that deliver huge benefits to the NHS and minimise drug costs to patients. Will the Government be allowing the US, through a trade deal, to gain access to NHS drugs procurement, and what are the implications for drug prices?

We have been absolutely clear that in terms of the US deal the NHS is not on the table, and that includes drug pricing and other aspects of delivery of healthcare services. Let me remind the hon. Gentleman that the European Union is also a member of the government procurement agreement, and therefore we look forward, on a bilateral basis between the UK and the EU, to UK companies being able to take advantage of these procurement opportunities in European markets, and also to UK procurers being able to give their contracts to European companies.