A NEW clause intended to protect the NHS and publicly funded health and care services in other parts of the UK from any form of control from outside the UK has been rejected by MPs.

Labour had tried to insert ‘New Clause 17’ into the Trade Bill in a bid to protect the NHS against foreign control in negotiations after Brexit.

However, the amendment was voted down this week with 340 votes to 251. Not one Conservative MP voted in favour of the clause.

Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman was among 336 Conservative MPs to vote against the clause, which would have banned any trade deal which “undermines or restricts a comprehensive and publicly funded health service free at the point of delivery”.

The amendment would have seen the “quality and safety of health and care services” preserved, including the pricing of medicine and management of patient data, and would have protected staff from wage cuts.

Mr Opperman was unavailable to comment this week.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Tuesday that almost 900,000 public sector workers, including teachers, doctors and police officers will be given a pay rise for their work on the frontline.