Category Archives: Trade

Look at the diseases in the US food your Tory government wants you to eat

Yummy yummy diseases for your tummy: a chlorinated, antibiotic-fed chicken. It may well be full of salmonella, e.coli and excrement but your Tory government will be demanding that you eat it if it signs a trade deal with the United States.

Channel 4’s Dispatches has highlighted the danger into which Boris Johnson’s Tory government will force us, if it is allowed to make a trade deal that will kill UK farming and force us to eat chlorinated chicken and other diseased foods from the United States.

This Site told you on Tuesday (October 13) that the government has rejected calls to enshrine high food standards in law, saying it is enough that Tory ministers have said they will demand such standards in any trade negotiations with foreign nations.

These are the same Tory ministers who supported Johnson’s EU Withdrawal Agreement to the hilt in January, and now say that it is no good and they support breaking international law – turning the UK into a criminal state – instead, so their word is worth less than nothing; it is a promise of betrayal.

Dispatches has shown us what it will mean if we allow food into the UK from the United States:

Yes, you heard it correctly: the Americans would sell us meat that has animal excrement in it.

And yes: the diseases carried in this US meat would cause serious problems to people with long-term ill-health, meaning the Tories would be creating another opportunity to quietly kill off many thousands more people with long-term illnesses and disabilities and wipe them from the benefits bill.

Apparently somebody spoke up on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, demanding that the Tory government legislate for higher food standards.

But I fear this Twitter user has drawn the right conclusion:

That is my feeling, too: Boris Johnson’s loyalty lies with the US rather than with us.

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Brexit: Your Tory MPs have betrayed UK agriculture after promising not to

Chicken: if this one was of the US chlorine-washed variety, do you think Boris Johnson would be soiling his hands with it?

We knew that Tory promises were no good, didn’t we? So we did 14 million people vote for them last December?

I’ve never found an answer for that one.

The usual old chestnut that “the other side were worse” is plainly wrong. Labour’s offer – and leader – was a vast improvement on Johnson and his rabble, as anybody can see.

They can certainly see it now, anyway.

Today’s scandal is that Brexit will now cause a flood of cheap food imports into the UK that will destroy our farming industry and poison our people.

Tories: you voted for this. Brexiters: you voted for this. Indeed, many farmers voted for this.

Here’s what they promised:

But (as Si Anderson puts it in earthy terms above), yesterday evening’s (October 12) vote in Parliament ensures that the Tories will be able to compromise those protections, just to get a deal with the United States:

Farmers and food campaigners were defeated on Monday night in their attempts to enshrine high food safety and animal welfare practices in British law.

Several prominent backbench Tory MPs rebelled against the government to vote for amendments to the agriculture bill that would have given legal status to the standards, but the rebels were too few to overcome the government’s 80-seat majority and the key amendment fell by 332 votes to 279 after an often impassioned debate.

The government argued that giving current standards legal status was unnecessary as ministers had already committed to ensuring that UK food standards would be kept in any post-Brexit trade agreements.

However, critics fear that the lack of a legally binding commitment in the agriculture bill will allow future imports of sub-standard food that will undercut British produce and expose consumers to risk.

Be honest; given Johnson’s record of u-turning on his promises, this means chlorinated chicken for dinner. It will be cheap at the shop, but it will cost us our entire agriculture industry.

And that is what Boris Johnson intended from the start – before the 2016 referendum, even – it seems.

Here’s what we’ll be getting:

Boris Johnson and his cronies won’t be getting chlorine-washed chicken, of course – they’ll be able to afford the higher-quality meats. But you will be in danger.

Opponents of Brexit have taken the opportunity to remind us all of Boris Johnson’s words in 2016 – so we can remind him at the appropriate time…

… not that it will make a difference. He does what he likes. You voted for that, Tories. You voted for it, Brexiters.

Here’s how it’s panning out:

Just to rub salt into the wound, it seems support for remaining in the EU is rocketing, with 57 per cent of the nation now in favour of it.

What a shame. After three years of fighting over it (up to the election in 2019), that debate is over. The Brexiters got what they wanted and you have been shafted. Nobody currently in power will do anything to reverse the decision.

Still, there remain a few optimists who think there will be recourse to law if harm can be shown as a result of this decision:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tory ministers are above the law.

The police and CPS actively avoid investigating any allegations of crime or wrongdoing by our elected government.

And Dominic Cummings could go on a murder spree in Barnard Castle and he would still walk free at the end of it.

But you can bet that a lot more people will suffer because of last night’s decision by Parliament to poison our farming industry, and our people.

Source: MPs reject calls by campaigners to enshrine food safety in UK law | Politics | The Guardian

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Lords defeat Johnson over food standards because they don’t want chlorinated chicken

Chicken: if this one was of the US chlorine-washed variety, do you think Boris Johnson would be soiling his hands with it?

Boris Johnson’s hopes of a trade deal with the United States are looking increasingly like a house of straw… built on sand.

Already leading figures in Congress have said they will block a trade deal if Johnson pushes his Internal Markets Bill into UK law, as it would break international law and – particularly – threaten the peace in Northern Ireland.

(Did Johnson really dream up this Bill because his Russian donors demanded it?)

Now the House of Lords has amended his Agriculture Bill, so that food products imported under any future trade deals must meet or exceed current standards in the UK – to prevent farmers in this country from being undermined.

For the opposition, Lord Grantchester warned: “Low-quality food cannot be allowed to jeopardise rural communities by undercutting UK farmers with products using methods that would be illegal here.”

Consumers did not want chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef to be imported from the US, he said.

It was only by supporting the Labour-led move that peers could be sure the Government was “bound to its commitment not to import food of lower standards than our own domestic products”, Lord Krebs said.

Baroness Boycott, a crossbench peer, said chlorinated chicken was the “tip of the iceberg” of “bad food” which could come into the country.

The amendment is a rejection of the Tory government’s claims, as summarised by Baroness Noakes:

“The government’s policy is clear. They are committed to higher food and welfare standards.

“We do not need to write into law what the Government is committed to.”

Clearly the majority of the Lords disagree – and who can blame them?

The whole point of not writing such a commitment into legislation is to ensure that a government can U-turn on it, once it has been enacted, and we all know it. That’s why the amendment has been brought in.

Unfortunately, it is well within Boris Johnson’s power to throw out the Lords’ amendment, so that the eventual law will undermine UK farmers, and will allow diseased meat onto our plates.

It is possible that MPs will stop and think for a moment before blithely voting it away, though; debate in the House of Lords is of a higher standard than that in the Commons and their reasons for changing a Bill deserve careful consideration.

Many Tories represent rural constituencies full of farmers.

How will those people take it if one of the earliest actions of these MPs in the new Parliament is to stab their voters in the back?

Source: Government defeated in Lords over post-Brexit food standards | The Independent

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US Congress threatens to pull out of #freetrade deal if UK undermines #GoodFridayAgreement

Partners? Dominic Raab is in the United States, where he has been meeting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the threat to the Good Friday Agreement posed by the Tory government’s Internal Market Bill means they may not see eye-to-eye.

This is awkward for Boris Johnson.

The US Congress – or at least members of it – is threatening to withdraw from any free trade deal with the UK if Boris Johnson’s Internal Market Bill undermines the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland.

This is a body blow to Johnson, who has claimed that the Bill is vitally important even though it very clearly breaks international law by shattering treaty agreements with the EU and in NI.

According to the BBC:

US Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week said there would be no UK-US trade deal if the Good Friday Agreement was undermined.

Ms Pelosi said if the UK broke international law and Brexit undermined the Good Friday Agreement – the Northern Ireland peace deal – there would be “absolutely no chance of a US-UK trade agreement passing the Congress”.

On Tuesday, four senior congressmen also issued a similar warning, saying a UK-US trade deal would be blocked if the UK failed to preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement.

In a letter to Mr Johnson, the four congressmen said the plans to give ministers powers to override part of the UK’s exit agreement – designed to avoid a hard Irish border – could have “disastrous consequences for the Good Friday Agreement and broader process to maintain peace on the island of Ireland”.

“We therefore urge you to abandon any and all legally questionable and unfair efforts to flout the Northern Ireland protocol of the withdrawal agreement and look to ensure that Brexit negotiations do not undermine the decades of progress to bring peace to Northern Ireland,” the letter added.

The letter was signed by Democratic congressmen Eliot Engel, Richard Neal, and Bill Keating, who all chair committees in the US House of Representatives, as well as Republican Congressman Peter King.

Downing Street has said the GFA will be upheld “in all circumstances” but the problem is that Johnson has a record of saying one thing and doing the opposite.

The row over the Internal Market Bill is because it contradicts the EU Withdrawal Agreement that Johnson himself signed in January after expelling 21 Tory MPs for failing to support him.

He simply cannot be trusted; he will say anything he likes to get whatever he wants at a particular time.

The warning from Congress underlines fears that no other nation will want to do a deal with a country that breaks international law.

The Americans would be better-advised to pull out of any deal now.

They might as well be negotiating with a spoilt child.

Source: Brexit: Dominic Raab seeks to reassure US politicians over Brexit bill – BBC News

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Cheese queen Truss trumpets free trade deal with Japan, selling Stilton to people who are lactose-intolerant

Liz Truss: the queen of cheese, who once warned that Brexit would seriously harm the UK, is now proving it with a duff free-trade deal with Japan. It’s no different from the deal we had as part of the EU, but with added Stilton.

Liz Trust can’t get away from cheese, can she?

The International Trade minister has just announced a brand-new post-Brexit free trade deal with Japan. Hooray!

But didn’t we already have a free trade deal with Japan?

Yes. Yes we did.

But this one has added Stilton cheese!

Let’s review Liz Truss and her association with cheese:

Well, at least now she’s talking about exporting it…

… to a country where most people can’t eat it – and a country where nobody eats Stilton at all:

So Japan has given us the same free trade deal we had as part of the EU, with added Stilton cheese. Not much of a victory, is it?

These people certainly don’t think so:

Oh and wait for it… here comes the punchline…

This is only an agreement in principle; the Japanese haven’t signed the deal yet. In other words, the Stilton may yet come off the (cheese) board.

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Andrew Bridgen destroys his government’s credibility on EU trade talks

Andrew Bridgen: winner of this week’s “Inverse Genius” award.


Everyone with any political nous in the UK has been laughing at eurosceptic Andrew Bridgen after he swallowed both feet (metaphorically) in a Channel 4 News interview.

Discussing his Fuhrer Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on the EU withdrawal agreement that he signed in January, Bridgen said – well, see for yourself:

The reaction on Twitter has been universal:

https://twitter.com/cbailiss/status/1303110907732602883

What a… typical Conservative MP.

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If Johnson is ready to renege on EU withdrawal agreement, what’s the point in a trade deal?

Brexit lies: Boris Johnson said he had an “oven-ready” Brexit deal waiting to slot into place with the EU.HE LIED.

Boris Johnson seems to think that negotiations are proceeding too slowly – and is pushing the EU to give him the ‘no deal’ Brexit he wants.

That’s the only interpretation that can be put on the revelation that he is planning to break the withdrawal agreement that he merrily signed in January.

EU negotiators will see that no deal struck with the UK under his leadership will carry any weight. This Writer would not be surprised if they walk away from the negotiating table in disgust.

On the eve of negotiations resuming, the Financial Times reported that the Internal Market Bill would “eliminate” the legal force of the Withdrawal Agreement, struck less than a year ago, in areas including state aid for business and Northern Ireland customs.

As part of the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the region is expected to continue to follow some EU rules after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 to ensure there is no hard border.

But Mr Johnson is expected to say later that if no agreement is reached by 15 October, both sides should “move on”.

The prime minister will tell EU counterparts that completing the UK’s exit from the bloc without a trade deal would still be a “good outcome”.

It won’t be.

We have already learned that huge numbers of UK farmers are likely to go out of business if there is no deal and now Johnson is practically guaranteeing it.

This Site has already said we should not necessarily sympathise with them because the vast majority of farmers voted for Brexit, no matter what it meant.

But this latest move is likely to mean tariffs of 40 per cent on UK goods being sold into the EU – a huge extra cost that means most of them will be unable to trade in that bloc in the future.

The economy is not strong enough to weather this, so it seems the hedge fund bosses who (may or may not have) supported Johnson in his bid to be prime minister will get what it’s been said they want: an enormous recession and the collapse of big name UK brands.

https://twitter.com/Beaker64625289/status/1302915231010762754

Make no mistake:

By legislating to cause this, Boris Johnson is signalling that it is what he has wanted all along.

Tory elected representatives are already misrepresenting the facts:

Oh, and for all those who voted Conservative in December last year, basing their decision on the slogan that Johnson would “Get Brexit Done”… How does it feel to be betrayed?

This is a complete u-turn on the plan and a betrayal of every Tory voter who thought Johnson would achieve an advantageous Brexit:

How do you feel about this betrayal?

Source: Brexit: Ministers plan laws overriding part of withdrawal deal – BBC News

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‘No deal’ Brexit looking more likely as UK negotiator rattles his sabre at the EU

If the UK government is not “scared” of leaving the EU without a trade deal, then it is because the interests of UK government ministers will not be harmed.

Reading between the lines of the BBC’s story, perhaps they expect the taxpayer to fund any businesses in which they have an interest?

The downside is that UK negotiator David Frost is saying your Tory government couldn’t care less if your business crashes to dust as a result of high tariffs that will be imposed by the EU nations in January.

Both sides want a deal agreed next month in order to have it signed off by politicians on both sides of the Channel by the end of the transition period on 31 December.

Differences remain on issues such as fishing and the level of taxpayer support the UK will be able to provide for businesses, also referred to as state aid rules.

The EU has said it wants full access for its boats to fish in UK waters in return for giving the UK fishing industry full access to EU markets.

On state aid, the EU has expressed concern that it could give business in the UK an unfair advantage over their European competitors and Mr Barnier has previously said the EU will require “robust” guarantees in this area if it is to agree a deal.

This Writer would be inclined to suggest that the EU should keep its nose out of the UK’s businesses if we could be sure that taxpayer funding for our firms could be administered in a reasonable way – but that’s not what we’re seeing.

Look at the Covid-19 crisis: the Tories have deliberately manipulated government procurement mechanisms to give whomping great wodges of public money to private companies run by their friends. That’s not reasonable!

On balance, the EU’s insistence on interfering in the way UK businesses are run is not acceptable, though. Does Michel Barnier really think a little state aid is going to make much difference for a single country dealing with the world’s largest trading bloc?

If This Writer was running a large concern, though, I would be worried.

Whatever happens, it seems UK businesses will end up paying large tariffs to sell into the EU, while receiving no support from their own government. Am I right?

Source: Brexit: Negotiator David Frost says UK not scared of walking away – BBC News

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Trade with EU nations is picking up! The Netherlands is sending us SEWAGE, including human waste

It seems this is all the UK is good for, now.

After the revelation that failed Australian politician Tony Abbott has been appointed to an advisory position on the Board of Trade, it turns out that the Netherlands is also sending us human waste:

Sewage sludge containing human waste from the Netherlands has been passed for import to the UK, to be used on farmland as fertiliser, despite concerns over the safety of its use.

Spreading the sludge on farmland is banned in the Netherlands, where incineration is preferred, but allowed in the UK. Dutch water authorities are eyeing the UK as a possible destination for their sewage, after problems at an Amsterdam incineration company left them lacking disposal options.

A permit for the shipment of 27,500 tonnes of municipal sewage sludge was issued in February by the UK’s Environment Agency, according to a document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Greenpeace’s Unearthed investigative unit and seen by the Guardian.

Well, you can’t say you weren’t warned.

Some of us have spent years warning that the only future for the UK under a Conservative government is down the toilet.

Source: Nearly 30,000 tonnes of sewage sludge containing human waste to enter UK | Environment | The Guardian

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‘Homophobic misogynist’ Tony Abbott appointed to trade role by sexist racist Boris Johnson

Tony Abbott and Boris Johnson: two clowns in monkey suits.

Why would a sexist racist like Boris Johnson want to appoint a “homophobic misogynist” – as Tony Abbott has been described – to a role advising his Tory government?

The connection should be obvious. Birds of a feather flock together, and all that.

And it’s an attempt to reassert some authority after the disastrous loss of any credibility that Johnson’s administration suffered over the summer…

… Johnson’s saying we’ll put up with Abbott whether we want to or not.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been appointed as an unpaid trade adviser to the UK government.

Boris Johnson rejected claims Mr Abbott was not suitable for the role, despite criticism over past comments on women, LGBT people and climate change.

The UK prime minister said he did “not agree with those sentiments”.

It seems more likely that the UK prime minister agrees all too much with those sentiments – as held by Abbott – but not with those of the UK public that they are unacceptable.

According to the Huffington Post, though…

Asked about the allegations on Friday, Johnson said: “I don’t, obviously don’t agree with those sentiments at all.

“But then I don’t agree with everyone who serves the government in an unpaid capacity on hundreds of boards across the country. And I can’t be expected to do so.

“What I would say about Tony Abbott is this is a guy who was elected by the people of the great liberal democratic nation of Australia.

Okay, let’s find out what an Aussie has to say about him. Here‘s Van Badham in The Guardian:

I can only imagine someone in the appointment process believed the whole endeavour is destined to fail and only a fool would take the job. In that case, Britain, fair enough: Abbott romps it home on both fronts.

Abbott is a man whose nuanced contribution to international relations as prime minister was not limited to threatening to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin with an Aussie Rules football tackle over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17. He also dropped a casual comparison to the Holocaust in a speech on the national jobs report. He reintroduced knights and dames to the Australian honours system, and the Australian he honoured first was … Prince Philip? He even got the name of Canada wrong (“Canadia”); he was in Canada at the time. Trade adviser?!

Maybe his British backers missed the time Abbott ate a raw onion like an apple in front of the national news media, and for no particular reason. The Australian town of Ballarat commemorates it regularly, crowning a local statue of the former PM with a garland of onions.

The Australian reaction to Abbott’s adviser appointment cannot be repeated, but it begins with a “W” and ends with “TF”. “Whichever Australian traded Tony Abbott to Britain,” remarked local cartoonist Jon Kudelka, “is the person Britain actually needs to help them with trade.” To appoint Abbott instead does not speak to qualification, or good governance – let alone anything like a desirable outcome. It speaks to “jobs for the boys” ideological loyalty that overrides history, fact and reason.

“Jobs for the boys” seems exactly right:

Well, the UK has major trade hurdles to overcome in the months left before January 2021.

If Abbott really is as bad as he seems, those months should be entertaining, at least.

The months immediately following may be considerably less so.

Source: Tony Abbott: Ex-Australian PM appointed UK trade adviser – BBC News

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