The NHS would be “on the table” in any post-Brexit UK-US trade deal agreed by Donald Trump, the American ambassador has said.
Woody Johnson said on Sunday said the “entire economy” would be part of any transatlantic agreement.
Asked in the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show if this included healthcare, Johnson said: “I would think so.”
Johnson said the US was already looking at all the elements of a trade deal “to get everything lined up so when the time comes”.
“We’re going to have a great relationship with your country whatever happens,” he said.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary and Tory leadership contender, said the NHS would “not be on the table” in talks.
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “The ambassador’s comments are terrifying, and show that a real consequence of a no deal Brexit, followed by a trade deal with Trump, will be our NHS up for sale. This absolutely should not be on the table.
“Nigel Farage and the Tories want to rip apart our publicly funded and provided NHS. Labour will always defend it.”
Labour MP David Lammy added: “It’s obvious why Donald Trump wants a No Deal Brexit. He sees the opportunity to bring a weak and desperate UK to the negotiating table. Our NHS is on the line.”
Trump has vowed to “go all out” to secure a free trade deal between the UK and US within months of Britain leaving the EU.
However Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has warned that Congress will not approve any trade deal if Brexit causes “any harm” to the Good Friday Agreement.
In an interview with The Sun ahead of his visit to the UK this week, the US President also suggested he backed Boris Johnson to become the next prime minister.