Category Archives: USA

US-UK deal hopes dashed because Brexit has killed Britain as an international trader

Out on a limb: Boris Johnson was notably ignored by Joe Biden at the start of a recent Nato defence summit and it seems Biden will ignore him on trade too.

Boris Johnson’s blatherings about Brexit can’t change the fact that the United States couldn’t care less about doing a free trade deal with the UK.

US President Joe Biden is far more interested in trading with the European Union – the very organisation Johnson said we would be better-off without.

Oh yes, the States cut their high tariffs on UK steel and aluminium – but that only indicates that we produce higher-quality steel than they do, and they want to buy it on the cheap.

In all other regards, Biden has adopted a protectionist approach that is anathema to Boris Johnson’s globalist government.

Simply put: Biden wants to build up the United States as an industrial nation, independent of other advanced economies like China, thereby creating high-quality jobs for American citizens.

Johnson, on the other hand, wants to sell everything in the UK to foreign concerns, so he and his Tory cronies can make a quick profit that they can bank in a tax haven. He couldn’t care less about the well-being of UK citizens.

As Dr Peter Holmes, a fellow at the University of Sussex’s UK Trade Policy Observatory, told the Express, “Britain is out on a limb.”

He said Biden agrees with the EU that governments should not subsidise industry – but Johnson’s government believes the exact opposite because it wants to sweeten our assets as prizes for foreign investors.

Look at the £7.1 billion of public money the government gave to the UK’s rail industry, and then look at the prices of tickets on trains that are mainly owned by foreign governments.

And Biden does not subscribe to the UK’s plan to cut carbon emissions; he’s far more in tune with the EU on that, too.

He would be more likely to consider a free trade agreement if the National Health Service was opened up to profit-making US companies, but he would not be interested in full privatisation of the NHS, in trade terms, according to Dr Holmes.

He might also be interested if the UK lowered its food safety standards (remember the fuss over chlorinated chicken?) – but divergence from EU standards would create more problems with imports and exports in Northern Ireland, which the States would want to avoid.

But the Johnson government insists that it remains keen to talk with the States about a free trade deal.

How pointless. Johnson has painted the entire nation into a corner and is trying to avoid responsibility by pretending everything is going according to plan.

Source: Boris Johnson’s hopes of post-Brexit US-UK trade agreement dashed – ‘Biden not interested’

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#Assange wins leave to #appeal to Supreme Court against extradition to USA

Appeal: Julian Assange.

Julian Assange has won a partial victory in his battle against extradition to the United States.

The High Court has found a point of law that may be argued – whether there was an injustice in the lateness of America’s assurances that he will be well-treated.

Assange must now lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court – and the future of that attempt is uncertain.

If the Supreme Court rejects his appeal, his extradition – to face a possible 175 years in prison if he is convicted of 18 counts of terrorism-related offences – may go ahead.

His partner Stella Moris had this to say after this morning’s High Court decision:

The US government wants to prosecute Julian Assange for 18 alleged crimes – 17 of them under a 1917 terrorism act – because his reports of these alleged US war crimes on the website Wikileaks allegedly caused risk to the lives of American military personnel.

No evidence has been brought forward to substantiate the claim. US prosecutors have admitted that they do not have any.

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#HighCourt decision on #Assange extradition set to be announced

Protest: you can tell the strength of public feeling in support of Julian Assange from this image – taken at Julian Assange’s last High Court appearance in December.

A High Court judge is to announce whether Julian Assange will be permitted to appeal against a decision to extradite him to the United States.

The decision will be handed down at 10.45am.

According to Wikileaks, the judgment will go one of two ways.

It may certify that points of law raised by Assange to prevent the extradition are of general public importance and give him permission to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Or it could deny him a certificate, meaning the extradition order will pass to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will have the power to personally authorise – or deny – the extradition.

Details of the case and the issues it raises are available here.

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#JulianAssange appeals against extradition. Will #AnneSacoolas still come to trial?

Protest: the court’s announcement on whether to extradite Julian Assange faced huge public opposition.

Lawyers acting for Julian Assange have filed an application to appeal against a High Court decision to allow him to be extradited to the United States to be tried for espionage.

High Court judges must now decide whether one of the grounds of the appeal is a point of law of general public importance, before the application may be considered by the Supreme Court.

Birnberg Pierce Solicitors, acting for Assange, say they believe serious and important issues of law arise from the High Court’s reliance on US assurances regarding the prison regimes and treatment Assange is likely to face if extradited, and from its judgment.

Assange is wanted in the US over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

A decision on the application is unlikely to be announced before the third week in January.

This Writer is now agog to find out if the US will still surrender Anne Sacoolas, accused of killing Harry Dunn in a road collision but who then fled the UK under the protection of diplomatic immunity, to court proceedings beginning on January 18.

See. Assange’s extradition is in line with a one-sided UK-US deal whereby the UK has to surrender anybody wanted by the US, but the US doesn’t have to do likewise.

The fact that Sacoolas was suddenly offered to the UK after the High Court allowed Assange’s extradition seemed extremely suspicious to This Writer, for precisely that reason.

And now that the extradition is in doubt, I’m on tenterhooks to find out whether the Sacoolas trial will still go ahead.

(Not that I ever expected her to come to the UK to serve any sentence, if she’s found guilty. Do you?)

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After #JulianAssange extradition, #AnneSacoolas is to face UK court. Coincidence?

The late Harry Dunn: his family have been campaigning for justice ever since his death more than two years ago.

One aspect of the Julian Assange extradition case that has been well-examined is the fact that the US may demand that we hand over our people while there’s no reciprocal obligation.

That’s the reason Anne Sacoolas was given asylum in the United States after the death of Harry Dunn, who she is alleged to have killed in a road crash outside RAF Croughton on August 27, 2019 – she claimed diplomatic immunity and the US granted it.

Now, suddenly, everything has changed – and after the chief campaigner for the Dunn family had been told he had only a one per cent chance of securing a criminal trial:

The Crown Prosecution Service … sought an extradition warrant to bring her back to the UK to stand trial, but the US state department adamantly refused to grant her extradition, insisting that her status as the wife of a serving US diplomat meant she was not required to stand trial. The US confirmed she had been an intelligence officer.

The case would be heard at Westminster magistrates court on 18 January, the Crown Prosecution Service said. It is understood that she will appear via video link.

The Dunn family have always said they wanted her to face justice in the UK, and it is not clear what would happen if she was found guilty or whether she would serve a sentence or pay any fine in the US.

Was an under-the-table deal struck between the UK and the US – we give them Assange and they give us Sacoolas?

Its very hard to consider it a coincidence, what with both decisions occurring so close to each other.

I mean, people here were infuriated at the decision to extradite Assange to the US, due to a one-sided treaty with that country that doesn’t demand reciprocity. The announcement about Sacoolas gives the UK government a chance to save face.

It would be entirely in character for the UK’s corrupt Tory government to manipulate even the course of justice in order to win a public relations advantage.

Sadly, while one of those involved – Sacoolas – is likely to face justice, as This Site has reported already, it seems unlikely the other – Assange – will.

Source: Anne Sacoolas to face UK court over death of Harry Dunn | UK news | The Guardian

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After Eustice said Biden didn’t know what he was talking about, Johnson lies about him

‘Get out!’ says Biden after Johnson breaks wind through his mask.

How long is Joe Biden going to put up with schoolboy antics from oiks like Boris Johnson and George Eustice?

US President Biden made it clear in interviews earlier this week that he would discuss the possible threat to peace in Northern Ireland posed by Boris Johnson’s stupid Brexit agreement with the European Union, when he met the UK prime minister.

The official record of the meeting also makes it clear that this is what Biden did: “President Biden reiterated his longstanding support for a secure and prosperous Northern Ireland in which all communities have a voice and enjoy the gains of the hard-won peace.”

But Johnson said it wasn’t discussed:

It’s bad enough when this compulsive liar chokes out a howler like that about a fellow politician here in the UK.

But to disrespect the most powerful human being on the planet in that way, at a time when Johnson is in the United States with his begging bowl out, pleading for a trade deal to get him out of the Brexit-shaped hole that he dug for himself, is plain lunacy.

Oh, but don’t tell me… he’s doing his best.

EXTRA: Just when you think he can’t get worse… I’ve just read this headline: “PM urges humankind to ‘grow up’ – and quotes Kermit the Frog – in call to arms on climate change.” Words fail me.

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Environment Secretary ‘Useless’ says it’s BIDEN who doesn’t understand Brexit NI protocol

A long record of defending the indefensible: Environment Secretary George Eustice has previously stated beliefs that children should starve during the holidays, asylum seekers should drown and people should die of Covid-19 rather than let the economy be harmed.

What stunning arrogance from a man who has been dubbed “George Useless”.

Environment Secretary George Eustice took to our airwaves to try to minimise the damage done by US President Joe Biden’s words on the Northern Ireland border and trade with the UK after Brexit – and made matters much, much worse.

Biden has expressed concern that peace in Northern Ireland could be jeopardised by the “Northern Ireland protocol” between the UK and the European Union, that regulates imports to and exports from the province.

It keeps Northern Ireland aligned with the EU’s single market for goods to ensure free trade across the Irish border, but has led to additional checks on goods being traded across the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which has drawn criticism and protests from unionist politicians in Northern Ireland who have called for it to be scrapped.

Boris Johnson swore to everybody who asked – before Brexit happened – that there would be no border checks between GB and NI… and it now seems clear that he was either lying or did not understand his own deal.

The UK has requested a fundamental renegotiation but the EU has refused – and with good reason. Boris Johnson was desperate to rush his Brexit into being, back in 2019, ensuring that many of his MPs did not understand what they were supporting. Any problem now is his responsibility and he will have to live with it – including any problems it creates with the USA.

Eustice turned up on TV and on the radio to suggest that Biden was “wrong” and had, himself, not properly read the details of the agreement that was negotiated, in a series of interviews that will make Boris Johnson’s current meetings with the US president much more difficult:

Eustice’s attitude was that this matter did not concern the US President…

… but that makes no sense at all when the UK is also trying to negotiate a two-way trade deal with the United States (over which Biden is, again, doubtful).

Eustice admitted, “It’s just not a priority for the US administration.”

And Boris Johnson has also said, “The Americans do negotiate very hard.”

It seems nothing has changed since former president Barack Obama said the UK would be at the back of the queue for a bilateral deal.

So of course the Johnson government has a Plan B, which is to join a trade bloc – like the one the UK has just spent five years leaving:

So the situation is this:

If the UK doesn’t get a trade deal with the US because its deal to leave the EU has created problems in Northern Ireland, then Boris Johnson will try to talk the UK into a trading bloc like the EU.

So what was the point of the last five years of fuss and palaver?

In other news, Julia Hartley-Doodah tackled Eustice on the really important issues:

Wow. If only some of our political interviewers could be bothered to dissect the Tories as thoroughly on issues like Universal Credit, rising bills and – yes – Brexit!

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Should Northern Ireland split from the UK to end deadlock with the EU and keep Biden happy?

Deadlock: The EU has a trade agreement and couldn’t care less if it harms Boris Johnson. And Joe Biden’s commitment to co-operation with the UK may waver if a solution can’t be found and the Troubles return. What if the Province splits from the UK – for the good of its people?

It makes a nice story on the eve of a G7 summit – especially one taking place in the UK. And that’s what the BBC propagandists want.

But while US President Joe Biden and the UK’s pipsqueak Boris Johnson might agree that trade problems in Northern Ireland due to last year’s UK-EU deal need to be solved, we have no reason to believe they agree on how.

The European Union has no problem with the current situation. All the problems were created by Boris Johnson because he rushed through a trade deal, either without understanding it or without caring what was in it – to meet a deadline he thought he needed to maintain public confidence.

Even the BBC had to admit it:

French President Emmanuel Macron said: “I think it’s not serious to want to review in July what we finalised after years of debate and work in December.

“We have a trade deal – it has been painfully discussed for years… if six months later, they say: ‘What we negotiated with you, we don’t know how to respect it’, then that means that nothing is respectable anymore.”

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the Northern Ireland protocol – the name for the post-Brexit trading rules – was the “only solution” and should be implemented fully.

Biden’s interest dates from the 1990s, when his forerunner Bill Clinton worked with people on all sides of the Northern Ireland question to help bring about the Good Friday Agreement that ended the so-called “Troubles”.

The BBC (again) has already published details of a planned speech in which Biden was set to voice concerns that deadlock on the Northern Ireland Protocol could jeopardise peace in the Province.

Sadly, with Biden taking pains to stress that he is not “warning” the two sides in any way, the EU unwilling to give any ground at all, and Johnson incapable of understanding the complexities involved, it seems there may be “Troubles” ahead once again.

There is a simple way out, of course: Northern Ireland could vote to leave the United Kingdom.

I’m not even suggesting that this means joining the Republic of Ireland.

The simple fact is that the people of this region have suffered terribly because of the “Troubles”. If I was living there, I would be furious that Johnson’s insensitivity has put NI back in the firing line and would be prepared to consider any alternative to prevent it.

And there’s no reason they would want to stay in the union – Johnson has created a situation where they are actually worse-off, the longer they put up with the current situation.

If Northern Ireland quit the UK but did not join the Republic, Biden would be happy; future violence could be averted. The EU would be happy too – it would make trading much simpler.

The only loser would be Boris Johnson. He would become the prime minister who forced the nation to split – and voters are not likely to forgive him for that.

It would be poetic justice. He thought he could get away with any old rubbish. He thought wrong.

Source: G7: UK and US in complete harmony over Northern Ireland – Boris Johnson – BBC News

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Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial – but not by the court of public opinion

Did anybody think Donald Trump would be found guilty by the Republican-dominated US Senate?

Impeached for the second time in his presidency – for inciting the Capitol riot in January that led to the deaths of five people – the evidence was considered by the 100-strong Senate, whose membership is evenly balanced between Republicans (Trump’s party) and Democrats.

For Trump to be convicted, a simple majority was not enough; the rules state that two-thirds of the Senate would have to find against him.

And here’s the result:

Final vote tally 57-43 but Senate fails to achieve two-thirds majority needed to convict former president of incitement.

Seven Republicans voted against their now-former president but it wasn’t enough. The others supported Trump.

It is suggested that they would have done so, no matter what evidence was put before them. That is a matter for their consciences.

The court of public opinion is another matter, though.

And the reaction of the people seems clear:

 

 

“The only thing easier to buy in the USA than a gun is a Republican Senator.”

Fair comment?

Source: Donald Trump acquitted in second impeachment trial | Donald Trump | The Guardian

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Could Trump impeachment help Mike’s libel fight against Rachel Riley?

The arguments are exactly the same.

After Donald Trump tweeted that his supporters should protest at the United States Capitol building to “stop the steal” of his presidency (he had been defeated in a perfectly legitimate election last November), a riot ensued in which five people died.

The US Parliament – Congress – is to consider whether to impeach Trump (remove him from office) on the grounds that his tweet was “incitement of insurrection”.

Isn’t that similar to what I said about Rachel Riley – that her tweets to a vulnerable teenager encouraged her followers to send abuse to that girl, harass her, and ultimately made her believe her life was in danger?

Both Riley and Trump have protested against this characterisation of them – Riley by accusing me of libel, Trump by opposing the impeachment.

Riley has tried to have my defence against her accusation struck out by claiming that she had not intended any harm to the girl and that she could not be said to have had any influence over her followers who read her tweets and behaved inappropriately.

Trump’s argument will be the same – he didn’t intend any harm to take place and he cannot be said to have influenced anybody.

The difference is that he is opposed by members of his nation’s Parliament – many of whom will have years of legal experience, whereas I’m an internet-based journalist with a crowdfunded legal team.

If he loses his case, it will have a knock-on effect upon mine. The judge in Riley’s strike-out application still hasn’t handed down her judgment and I wonder whether this is because she is aware of the transatlantic situation and knows that an appeal could be lodged in my case, depending on the result in Washington DC.

In the meantime, it is important to ensure that I can still pay to defend myself against Riley. So while we’re waiting, please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

There is now an international aspect to the Riley case.

Depending on events in Washington DC this week, anything could happen here.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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