Sunday 18th of November 2018

hard brexit...

hard brexit...

Jeremy Hunt has been photographed holding a briefing note that says a “hard Brexit means people fleeing UK”.

 

The health secretary was on his way to a cabinet meeting in Downing Street when he was pictured with the folded note, written in large type, which appeared to be preparation for health questions in the House of Commons.

In response to an opening question from the Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael, it reads: “The 150,000 EU nationals working in our health and care services do a brilliant job and we want them to continue doing it. I am in regular talks with cabinet colleagues to inform both domestic workforce plans and the government negotiations with the EU.”

Further down, it adds: “Hard Brexit means people fleeing UK. 26 June PM made clear that we intend to protect the rights of EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU … the Lib Dem approach means ignoring what people voted for.”

Hunt did not give that answer when he later appeared in the House of Commons, reading out only the first paragraph in response to Carmichael. 

An aide to Hunt insisted the warning about hard Brexit was intended to be a suggestion for a possible supplementary question from the opposition, followed by his possible reply.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/04/hard-brexit-means-peopl...

Cartoon at top by Giles (“a Bentley-driving socialist”). Grandmother was famous at the Daily Express... Not as nasty on the "little people" as some of Australian right wing cartoonists at the Daily Telegraph, he nonetheless showed a variety of ordinary Brits' life in resonance with the hypocrite British upper crust. 

 

defeat in victory...

 

...

At Westminster she has been reduced to cobbling together a deal with reactionary politicians from Northern Ireland to secure a fragile House of Commons majority, jettisoning many of the policies in the Conservative manifesto and apeing the anti-austerity policies of the Labour opposition. “Defeat in victory,” notes Nicholas Macpherson, formerly the top official in the Treasury.

Meanwhile cabinet ministers exploit the vacuum by publicly dictating terms to Mrs May on the future direction of policy on Brexit and the economy. The briefings and the jostling for succession become more audacious as the days pass. Mrs May’s election offer of “strong and stable” leadership is now a staple of the gallows humour that has enveloped Conservative MPs.

A Conservative minister laments: “There is no plan, no strategy, no direction.” The question being asked in Britain and Europe is simple: how long can Mrs May last and can she deliver Brexit?

read more:

https://www.ft.com/content/02f15952-6099-11e7-8814-0ac7eb84e5f1

europa...

 

"Sweet Europa's mantle blew unclasp'd,

From off her shoulder backward borne :

From one hand droop'd a crocus : one hand grasp'd

The mild bull's golden horn."

                   Tennyson

 

 

France has stepped up its seduction of banks and other financial institutions considering a move out of London due to Brexit, as the government unveiled a raft of proposals aimed at making Paris more appealing.

A document presented by the French prime minister, Édouard Philippe, on Friday listed reforms he said could turn Paris into “Europe’s leading financial centre after Brexit” amid fierce competition from Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

The proposals including the abolition of the highest bracket of a payroll tax levied on each salaried employee and the cancellation of plans to increase France’s 0.3% tax on financial transactions.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jul/07/france-london-banks-bre...

Bull? John Bull = England...

 

media junking juncker's brexit...

But what was taken out of context and made to sound like an ominous warning, or even distorted into a threat, actually came after the Brussels boss said it was the EU which will be suffering Brexit remorse.

Juncker, the president of the European Commission, unsurprisingly and unashamedly heaped praise on Brussels in his ‘State of the Union’ address in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

He called for greater unity, the rejection of nationalism, and deeper ties from EU budgetary powers to institutions and foreign policy.

And he talked about Brexit.

The European Parliament gathered for the speech, eagerly awaiting news on the divorce between Britain and Brussels, which Juncker touched on briefly.

Nevertheless, what little did come was seized upon.

The BBC was quick to pounce on the part where the President said the EU – and the UK – would regret the split.

Significantly, the corporation chose to use only half of his sentence, turning a prediction of remorse into a menacing threat.

“Brexit: UK will 'soon regret' leaving EU argues Juncker,” the online headline read.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/uk/403203-juncker-brexit-eu-news/

hitlerette in heengland...

 

In the opinion piece titled 'Theresa May takes her darkest, most desperate turn yet,' the [Vanity Fair] magazine's British editor, Henry Porter, addresses the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, also referred to as the Repeal Bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday. 

Although May called the passage a "historic decision to back the will of the British people" referring to the Brexit vote, others have taken issue with the so-called 'Henry VIII' powers in the bill, which give ministers the authority to amend laws without the usual parliamentary scrutiny.

In short, the Henry VIII powers would allow ministers to copy EU law into the UK's post-Brexit domestic statute book while avoiding any pushback or parliamentary red tape.

Porter is among those who believe the bill grants May and her fellow Conservatives too much power – so much so that he has likened the prime minister to Hitler.

"These powers are named after Henry VIII, England’s most authoritarian monarch, but they in fact bear a greater resemblance to Hitler’s Enabling Act of 1933, which allowed the Fuhrer to bypass the Reichstag and govern by proclamation," Porter wrote in his editorial.

read more:

https://www.rt.com/uk/403363-theresa-may-hitler-comparison/

 

torture of a lame duck...

Still, at least the EU has now agreed to start internal discussions on how it will approach the second phase of talks on trade with the UK. This offer has all the bonhomie and promise of a captor telling his victim that while the torture bit is not yet over, they can start the desperate bargaining phase in parallel.

The problem, we keep hearing, is that we have a lame duck negotiating for us. Who do lame ducks negotiate with? Acas-trained foxes? Farmers-of-few-words bearing down on them with a ligature and a sack?

As she repeatedly stated, May called the snap election because “other parties” were trying to frustrate the Brexit process, and because a bigger majority would give her a “stronger hand” in negotiations with the EU. Anyhow … here we are now. Don’t sprain your eyeballs rolling them, but the greatest enemy to the Brexit process is the wingnuts in her own party, while No 10 briefings are suggesting her weakness is our ace in the hole.

According to the Times, government sources told them the prime minister had made a series of weekend phone calls in which she “stuck it” to EU leaders about the reality of her political predicament. Please don’t question this use of the term “stuck it”. If you’ve ever watched one of those wildlife documentaries where a zebra “sticks it” to a lion pack, you’ll know what a powerful line of attack that can be.

Even so, given the reliance on poker analogies that has sustained the government for over a year now, one has to ask: in what poker games do you see people using begging and weakness as a strategy? That’s right: games in which some stupid deadbeat has just lost the money for his kids’ food and is imploring the guys to go easy on him or his wife will sling him out.

What an adorable irony it is that the Brexiteers went into the referendum effectively casting the UK as 007 at the peak of his game. We are now literally begging Le Chiffre for our car keys back, while he cries bloody tears of laughter over our predicament. Yes, the Casino Royale villain’s lachrymal tic was the worst poker tell in the history of the game – until the UK premiered “Please help me: I am being propped up by the DUP and am holding a 2-7 off suit.”

Even after the Conservative party conference and that astonishingly brutal spectacle in the Coughosseum, it seems May’s torments are going to become only more exquisite. Not only is time causing her negotiating position to decay faster than most radioactive isotopes, but she is condemned to do it all with the least helpful noises-off possible.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/20/theresa-may-brusse...

 

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trumping the stupidest thing...

 

Michael Bloomberg, an American billionaire and former mayor of New York City, has lashed out at Brexit, saying he cannot understand "why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it." Netizens were quick to react to his words with numerous comments on social media.

"I did say that I thought it [Brexit] was the stupidest single thing any country has ever done but then we Trumped it," Bloomberg said, referring to the election of Donald Trump as US president.

During the US presidential campaign, he considered standing as a third-party candidate but ruled it out, arguing that his participation in the race would diminish the Democratic vote and boost Trump’s chances of winning.

The 75-year-old media mogul made the remarks two weeks ago at a technology conference in Boston, but they were reported only on Tuesday by The Guardian.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201710251058520715-michael-bloomberg-brexi...

Brexit is viewed in Europe as a necessary cleansing... Many Brits living in Europe are horrified that the process ever happened, but it is unavoidable as 99 per cent of Europeans see the Brits as trying to use the benefits of Europe without sharing any of the cost. Everyone reading this site since its inception would know that I have been vocal about Europe having to throw out the Brits because they were double dealing, doing the US bidding to damage Europe. Now the Brits have to pay the rent for having been "European" while booting themselves out.  Then Trump came along... Meanwhile the Brits still spy on Europe on behalf of the Yanks... Ugly.

 

of blair and brexit melange...

...

A column in which Parris declared, inter alia- that Brexit- which he opposes, was worse than Suez and what he euphemistically described as the ‘adventure’ in Iraq. ‘Eden lied about Suez and his government concealed its purpose, but he believed in that purpose and believed it to be in the national interest’ Parris wrote, ‘Blair dissimulated about Iraq and his government used dark arts to clear its path. But he believed in the adventure and believed it to be in the national interest. Brexit is worse. The means are the same as with Suez and Iraq but half of the cabinet and most of the parliamentary party don’t agree with the ends’.


Where does one begin?


The idea that implementing Brexit — for all the legitimate concerns people might have with it- is worse than lying the country into a military conflict which killed 1m is not just ridiculous. It is also obscene.

...

Iraq was a war of choice which had no public endorsement. Brexit was approved by a referendum- and the government is merely implementing- or trying to implement the democratic decision taken by voters on 23rd June 2016.

It doesn’t matter if Theresa May and her Ministers believe in Brexit or think it a bad idea: their job is to carry it out. Iraq was totally different. There was no question of the war being in Britain’s ‘national interest’. Saddam Hussein may have been a dictator but he posed no threat to the UK, or to UK citizens; on the contrary his secular Baathist government was a regional bulwark against al-Qaeda, against whom we were told we were fighting a ‘war on terror’.

The Iraq War was a deceitful neocon enterprise, based on false claims about the country possessing WMDs- and a UK government that was genuinely concerned with the ‘national interest’ would have forcefully opposed it. It’s worth bearing in mind the findings of the Chilcot report which said that there was no ‘imminent threat’ from Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Moreover, Tony Blair was specifically warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that invading Iraq would greatly increase the terror threat to the west.

Yet still he went ahead.

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201802061061395517-brexit-iraq-war-to...

and not a single russian in sight...


Find Christopher Wylie.” That instruction – 13 months ago – came from the very first ex-Cambridge Analytica employee I met. He was unequivocal. Wylie would have answers to the two questions that were troubling me most. He could tell me about Facebook. And he would know about Canada.

What Christopher Wylie knows about Facebook, the world now knows. Facebook certainly knows – its market value is down $100bn. But the Canadian connection remains more elusive. What it is. Why it matters. And why it triggered my search for Wylie.

We heard from him at a session of the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee that the BBC parliamentary correspondent Mark D’Arcy described as “by a distance, the most astounding thing I’ve seen in parliament”. Perhaps not because of Wylie’s arresting appearance – though there was that too, his pink hair offset with a suit for the occasion – but because of what he said: a four-hour account of his involvement with Cambridge Analytica that he backed up with documents, a selection of which the committee published two days later.

It was a moment that marked a significant milestone in our coverage of this story. Because back on 13 May 2017 we received a letter from Squire Patton Boggs, lawyers for Cambridge Analytica, that set out their intention to issue a “pre-action protocol for defamation” – though its immediate concern was regarding an “article that is proposed to be published this weekend”.

Seven fraught hours later, we published an article headlined “Follow the data” . It was centred on one particular document. A document that linked Cambridge Analytica to a small, seemingly inconsequential firm based above an optician’s shop in Victoria, Canada. A document that was among the stash of those released by the DCMS committee on Thursday.

The firm – AggregateIQ – didn’t appear inconsequential. In the words of Vote Leave’s campaign manager, Dominic Cummings, it played a crucial role in the Brexit campaign. For more than a year, a quote from Cummings – “we couldn’t have done it without them” – was emblazoned across AIQ’s website. Words that disappeared from the website a week ago, removed after we submitted our questions to the firm.

The first major article I wrote about Cambridge Analytica last February outlined a relationship between Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign and Cambridge Analytica and the relationships with Robert Mercer, the firm’s main investor, and its shareholder and vice-president Steve Bannon. It kicked off an investigation by the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Then, a few days later, a reader from Canada got in touch. Did I know that the telephone number and address listed on Cambridge Analytica’s website as its Canadian office – SCL Canada – belonged to Zackary Massingham? Did I know that he was the chief executive of a company called AggregateIQ? A firm that had worked for Vote Leave? I didn’t.

Because Vote Leave was the official campaign. It was of a different order of importance to Farage’s Leave.EU. Vote Leave had been recognised by the Electoral Commission. It had been entrusted with taxpayers’ money. It was headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove – now both ministers in Theresa May’s government. And who are now seeing the scandal currently engulfing Cambridge Analytica arriving at theur doorstep.

Last week we published the account of another whistleblower, Shahmir Sanni, and how he believed that Vote Leave senior officials took advantage of him and his friend, Darren Grimes, to ramp up their own spending. Vote Leave gave their campaign, BeLeave, £625,000 – but in November the Electoral Commission opened an investigation into it. The donation was legal only if BeLeave really was an independent organisation, operating separately. And Sanni had startling new evidence: he said it wasn’t. Sanni – the treasurer – wasn’t even allowed to get his train tickets refunded. Instead, the money was paid directly to AggregateIQ – the company that a year earlier I had found listed on Cambridge Analytica’s website as SCL Canada.

The documents published last week finally make the legal connection between AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica public. The committee has published an intellectual property agreement between AIQ and SCL Elections – Cambridge Analytica’s parent company. There’s also a service agreement between the two firms that set out revenue-sharing clauses and payment details, an internal Cambridge Analytica staff list that names Massingham, and emails about work the two firms did together for John Bolton, the newly appointed national security adviser to Donald Trump. On 21 August 2014, Alex Tayler, the acting managing director for Cambridge Analytica, wrote to Jeff Silvester, co-founder of AggregateIQ, and said: “Personality Cluster information for the target voter segments for all 3 states (modelled for all voters of interest, not just Kogan sample/seeders).”

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/31/aggregateiq-canadian-tec...

 

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the hard labour of brexiting...

Just ahead of the Cabinet meeting a group of Brexiteer Tory MPs sent a 30-page letter to Downing Street where they argue that a new customs partnership plan is  “undeliverable”  and “would require a degree of regulatory alignment that would make the execution of an independent trade policy a practical impossibility."

 

The prime minister has also been warned that if the Cabinet accepts a customs partnership with Brussels Tory MPs might withdraw support for government-proposed bills resulting in a legislative paralysis and putting Theresa May’s political future in doubt.

Brexit talks between the UK and European Commission officials are slated to resume later this week in Brussels

READ MORE: EU's Barnier Says Brexit is a Lose-Lose Situation

Brussels insists the whole withdrawal agreement, including citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, transition period, and Northern Ireland border needs to be agreed upon by the October meeting of the European Council in order to provide enough time for the deal to be scrutinized and approved by the European Parliament.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201805021064075562-us-brexit-mps-warning/

 

Read from top.

going down the drain under the strain...

 

My editor at The American Conservative writes to ask: what is going on over there in the UK? It’s a good question. Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, my country has been going through what might be termed “a period of self-reflection.” A less generous description would be: “nervous breakdown.”

The newspapers are filled with increasingly frenzied pieces from writers on both the Left and the Right wondering what the rest of the world thinks of our small island. Are we “global Britain,” cocksure and cavalier? Or “little Britain,” timid and tame? Is everyone laughing at us? Or concerned that we have lost the plot? Have we lost the plot? Does anyone care? Do we even care?

Passing news events are now imagined to be grand tests of our country’s character. Take the awful story of Alfie Evans, a 23-month-old British boy with brain damage. Doctors and judges said he would never recover, so instead his life support should be switched off. His parents disagreed. They wanted to take him to Rome to be treated in a Vatican hospital. The Italians even granted Alfie Italian citizenship to expedite the process.

Would the young boy die on the terms of the British state or on those of his parents? In the end, it was the former. The complex, sad story made headlines in the United States and across Europe. Britain was portrayed as the cruel man leaving Europe: Protestant utilitarianism turning its back on Catholic compassion. Brits reacted to the international condemnation with wounded pride, a common national trait, and a grudging acceptance that maybe we have gone mad.  So—have we become a callous, cold country? Was it British to let Alfie die against his parents’ wishes? Or is the British way to let the law decide? We don’t really know.

Read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/britains-nervous-breakdo...

 

During the 2017 snap election in Britain, the Conservative Party, headed by Theresa May, pioneered the slogan “strong and stable leadership.” Since then, the UK Cabinet has been rocked by a series of high-profile resignations, including over pornography and immigration scandals and a clumsy reshuffle in-between.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201805021064091235-uk-government-scandal-...

 

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soft brexit turmoil...

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was thrown into turmoil late Sunday with the surprise resignation of David Davis, her “Brexit minister” in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union. 

The midnight resignation came as a shock to British politics, exposing May to challenge by Conservative Party members outraged over what they see as her plan to secure a “soft Brexit” that keeps Britain tied to many rules and regulations of the European Union after it leaves the bloc next year.

Hard-line Brexit backers who argue that May should have a clean, decisive break from Brussels, spent the weekend complaining that her recently revealed proposals were a timid capitulation, a “Brexit in name only,” that ignored “the will of the people” who voted 52 to 48 percent in June 2016 to leave the European bloc.

 

read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/britains-brexit-secretary-suddenly-resigns/2018/07/08/

 

Read from top.

harder brexit...

British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Jeremy Hunt as foreign minister after predecessor Boris Johnson resigned in protest at the Government's plans for a close trading relationship with the European Union.

"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs," Ms May's office said in a statement. 

Mr Johnson, a vocal supporter of Britain leaving the European Union, informed Ms May of his resignation just a day after Brexit minister David Davis quit.

"This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary," a Downing Street spokesman said.

"His replacement will be announced shortly.

Ms May told the House of Commons that both Mr Davis and Mr Johnson had made important contributions to Britain, but did not agree with her about "the best way" of delivering Brexit.

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-10/british-foreign-secretary-boris-jo...

 

Read from top.

hardest brexit

It's the early morning hours of March 30, 2019, and the disaster is only slowly beginning to unfold. British radio stations report on the first traffic jams at the ferry docks of Dover and Folkstone. Flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and other airports to Continent have been canceled. All of them. It's Saturday, so the stock markets are relatively quiet. At least for now. 

Two days later, though, the pound takes a nosedive, bringing the share prices of British companies down with it. Alarmed by news reports that just get more disturbing as they pour in, the British begin emptying the supermarket shelves. Gas stations start to run out of gasoline. Remote areas such as Cornwall or Scotland declare states of emergency.

 

Read more:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/the-dangers-of-a-no-deal-brexit