Tag Archives: Brexit

If the Tories knew Northern Ireland protocol was a bad deal then they failed in their duty to the UK

The culprit: Boris Johnson screwed up Brexit by agreeing a trade deal so bad that it could end the fragile peace in Northern Ireland, just because he wanted to hit a deadline he had set for it. And he simply doesn’t care.

According to Tory Lord Barwell, it is wrong for Brexit minister Lord Frost to say the government underestimated the amount of restriction traders would suffer when moving goods to Northern Ireland; Boris Johnson knew the effect would cause serious harm all along.

Barwell says Johnson agreed that part of the Brexit trade deal solely because he “wanted to get Brexit done”.

So he went with a bad deal – knowing that it was bad.

He signed it because he wanted to hit a deadline.

And he signed it, reckless as to the effect it would have on trade in the province.

Worse still, he signed that deal in the knowledge that it would destabilise Northern Ireland and could end the fragile peace that has held there since 1998, because his deal rides roughshod over that deal’s conditions.

That is serious dereliction of duty, if true.

Barwell went on to say he thought Johnson had intended to “wriggle out” of the NI protocol later.

How’s that going for him, then?

Lord Frost, who negotiated the protocol, wrote [that] the UK had sent a “detailed proposal” for a veterinary agreement [but] “we have had very little back” from the EU.

He’s unlikely to get anything more. The EU has fulfilled its responsibility to its member states, and as an added bonus, a former member state that left has managed to create a hugely difficult problem for itself, that may be impossible to resolve.

If Barwell is correct, then the dire deal is entirely Boris Johnson’s fault, and the consequences of that deal – no matter how bad the situation becomes – are his fault as well.

And people were fooled into voting Tory because they were told Jeremy Corbyn would make a mess of Brexit.

Feel free to remind your Tory friends of that – and remind them that it was voting Tory that made sure that Brexit turned into the diabolical fiasco that it has become.

Source: Brexit: UK government knew NI Protocol ‘was a bad deal’ – BBC News

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Tory Brexit has decimated the UK’s financial industry – and YOU will suffer the consequences

This is UK money: enjoy the sight of it because it is currently being turned into Euros and we are never likely to see as much of it again – and you have Boris Johnson and his Conservatives to blame.

Wow. Boris Johnson’s insistence on his silly Brexit deal has meant the one industry in which the UK remained a world leader – finance, is falling.

More than 440 financial firms have shifted thousands of jobs and £1 trillion of assets out of the UK and into the EU because of Brexit.

That’s about 10 per cent of the total assets held by the UK banking system – meaning that our banks have been decimated, according to the classical definition of the term (decimation, in army terms, was the killing of one in every ten of a group of people as a punishment for the whole group).

And worse is to follow, according to research from the New Financial think tank.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal didn’t cover financial services, you see. He relied on “blue sky” daydreaming that a separate deal could be reached with the EU. This dream has turned into a nightmare with the EU refusing to give ground.

7,400 jobs have moved from the UK to the EU – and are not likely to be replaced.

And the UK is set to lose much of its £26 billion annual financial trade surplus, meaning the nation’s balance of payments (the difference between profits from exports and payments for imports) is likely to slip much deeper into the red.

It’s further evidence of a bizarre Tory policy – to give all of the UK’s business assets to foreign firms and governments.

The privatisation of UK industry – begun under the Thatcher governments and continuing to this day – has taken ownership of firms away from the general public and placed it mostly in the hands of foreign organisations.

Firms run by the governments of EU countries now run most of our railways, water services, and (I seem to recall) power supplies. Now our banking services are set to atrophy.

And of course, it will be ordinary working-class UK citizens like you and This Writer who will suffer.

Businesspeople always pass the consequences of their failures down. That’s why Tories have been able to persuade so many voters that pay rises for the workers are a bad idea – the bosses would not forgo their profits to support them but would hike their prices instead.

With less cash coming into the UK via the banks, the ultra-rich parasites will be looking for new ways to suck money out of us.

The result will be the impoverishment of the UK. We will be a once-great nation destroyed by political midgets with over-inflated opinions of themselves.

Source: Banks and insurers move £1 trillion of assets out of UK due to Brexit | The Independent

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The Tories are running scared into the local elections – and scared Tories are DANGEROUS Tories

Face of fear: Boris Johnson’s time is running out. The local elections will show him just how short that time may be. How far is he prepared to go to hold on to power?

Enjoy this video by Richard Murphy (I did):

Yes – Tory policies are going very badly, and the propaganda machine won’t be able to hide that from the majority of us when those failures hit our quality of life.

Brexit has screwed our businesses.

Covid-19 isn’t over – there could be another wave by July (possibly fuelled by variant strains that have bred in the gap between vaccination doses).

The Conservative government is rife with corruption.

And nationalism is on the rise in Wales and Scotland, while Northern Ireland is on fire because Unionists have realised that they have been sold out by the Westminster government and their own DUP politicians who supported the Tories during Theresa May’s ministry.

What’s Boris Johnson’s response?

He’s provoking people. He’s trying to blame those who oppose as if they are the provocateurs.

Through his ‘identity politics’ process of calling out those he describes as “woke”, who he is therefore chastising for their commitment to equality on a range of grounds… he is trying to provoke [them] to attack him.

That is standard right-wing … fascist policy.

Murphy’s conclusion is accurate, too, I think:

They know that their policies are failing so all they can do is use blunt force to try to maintain their position in office.

… Like the fascists they are.

Hence the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that proposes draconian new powers for the police, who are to be used as political tools, putting down any opposition to Tory dictatorship. And to ensure that these powers are exercised, what do the Tories do?

They are provoking crowds; they are seeking riots.

Because then they can point at the rioters, and at the peaceful people who agree with the reasons for rioting, and claim that they are the enemy.

Toryism is about “othering”. It is about dividing us and setting us against each other, so we fail to act against our real enemy: them.

It is encapsulated in the story about the Tory, the worker and the immigrant:

A Tory, a worker, and an immigrant are sitting at a table with 20 biscuits. The banker takes 19 biscuits, turns to the worker and says: “Watch out, that immigrant is going to take your cookie away.”

Murphy’s last point is chilling:

They’re not sure they want to go without a fight and we don’t know how tough that fight is going to be.

This Writer reckons it will be very tough.

Tories don’t mind spilling the blood of poor people. In fact, they delight in it. When they send the police to break up protest demonstrations, they see it as poor people fighting among themselves. It’s a huge jolly for them.

In the past, Tories have always known when to give up. They’ve recognised the signs and withdrawn before events escalated too far. That’s why the UK has never had a popular uprising or revolution like those in France, Russia, or China, to name a few other countries.

But the current Tory leadership isn’t like those old statespeople. Boris Johnson wants to hold on to power and will do anything to keep it.

I wonder what we’ll be prepared to do when the time comes to take it away from him.

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Comeuppance for Kate: Hoey’s Brexit balderdash get the brush-off – finally

Kate Hoey: either she did not understand what Brexit would mean to Northern Ireland or she didn’tt care. But the people her influence has harmed will not forget.

This has been a long time coming – and not just to Kate Hoey.

The Brexiteer and former Labour MP has been trying to defend her support for the UK leaving the European Union in the flame-light of the burning vehicles in Northern Ireland.

Her reception has been – well, see for yourself. Here’s her tweeted assertion:

“The Protocol” would be the Northern Ireland protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

Many have pointed out what this means about Hoey’s comment:

Yes indeed – Hoey stated in a Telegraph article that Northern Ireland had much to gain from Brexit, despite the province having voted against leaving the EU (because people there knew it would jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process):

Her article is still available to read:

Now people have simply connected her words then with her words now, and found that they are not persuasive:

But Hoey should not feel that she is the only one feeling the force of Northern Ireland’s (and indeed the rest of the UK’s)… ire:

What’s the best phrase to describe this lot?

Ah, yes: They’re all in it together.

And we should remember that…

… when we seek compensation for what has happened.

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Northern Ireland is ablaze again. It’s what Boris Johnson wanted and why he lied

Masks and molotov cocktails: Northern Ireland has gone back to this because of Boris Johnson’s Brexit. We can only conclude it’s what the UK prime minister wants.

Is Boris Johnson delighted that his lies have stirred up more Troubles in Northern Ireland.

This Writer reckons he must be.

Why else would he have promised to everybody who would listen that he would make sure they got what they wanted out of Brexit – and then reneged?

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain:

Here’s Johnson himself, lying to a gang of Northern Ireland Tories:

And here’s the result:

Note the comment about the UK’s Tory press ignoring this. In fairness, they might have been slow on the uptake but I found a piece on the BBC website easily enough. Under a bland image of the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont, it reported:

The Northern Ireland Assembly is to be recalled early from its Easter break on Thursday to discuss the violence in some loyalist areas.

A petition tabled by the Alliance Party to bring MLAs back to the chamber has secured the 30 signatures required.

Detectives are also investigating parades in Portadown and Markethill on Monday.

Politicians are united in calling for the violence to end, but are divided over why it has erupted.

NI’s first minister, Arlene Foster of the DUP, has flown a kite suggesting that poor policing of the funeral of Bobby Storey, which attracted 2,000 mourners who didn’t socially distance, has caused a collapse of confidence in the province’s Chief Constable, Simon Byrne.

She’s a supporter of Brexit, of course.

Here’s a tweet that answers her claims:

Yes indeed. What Brexiters labelled “Project Fear” is now a reality of life in Northern Ireland. Again. And those of us who warned the rest can only point out the obvious:

But somebody clearly did want them to – and he’s sitting in 10 Downing Street.

Boris Johnson knew what would happen – just as he knew what would happen when he refused to take the big decisions about Covid-19 that were needed between November 2019 and March 2020.

There can be no denial of the facts. He was told this would happen; he ignored the evidence; and now it is happening.

It won’t go away, because unlike those in mainland Britain, people in Northern Ireland are used to expressing their anger in highly visible, public, and violent ways.

And they won’t care about any laws Johnson might pass that ban demonstrations, parades, rallies and marches either!

For This Writer, it is extremely depressing. I’m old enough to remember the Troubles. I remember being ordered out of a shopping centre because of an IRA bomb in a shop there.

That device was discovered and defused, but I also remember seeing the results when bombs elsewhere were allowed to detonate.

I remember the deaths, the injuries, the recriminations and the resentments.

I know Boris Johnson remembers them too.

But he seems hell-bent on stirring them all up again. So can someone please remind us all why anybody thought it was a good idea to elect him? “But Corbyn” won’t cut it because Corbyn would never have done anything that could lead to this.

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Gibraltar edges closer to Spain with post-Brexit tax treaty

Gibraltar: Theresa May let the Spanish use the Rock to roll right over her. Now it is drifting towards Spain (politically, not physically).

Is it good or bad?

The UK government has signed a new treaty with Spain over Gibraltar. No, it doesn’t transfer ownership of the Rock back to the Spanish, but it does align their tax systems.

Some might think this is inconsequential – but it puts Gibraltar in a closer position to Spain (and the EU), and will prevent it from being used as a tax haven.

Gibraltar voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum and the result – forcing the UK to leave – created considerable issues for the small community there.

Many commentators see this treaty – the first explicitly over Gibraltar between the UK and Spain in around 308 years – as a first step towards handing the Rock back.

Even if it isn’t, it seems likely the UK government will face criticism – if anybody gets to hear about it; the British mainstream media have ignored the treaty (in accordance with the apparent drift towards fascism in this country – the only news the public gets is what the country’s masters decide may be permitted).

Spain demanded a free hand to negotiate the future of Gibraltar with the UK back in 2018, raising concerns that its government believed it would be better-able to have the Rock returned to it without the other EU nations holding it back.

I said at the time that a threat to the UK’s ownership of even one territory could create a cascade effect in which attempts are made to take many of them away at once – and the UK’s military capacity may no longer be great enough to prevent them all.

But the loss of even one will harm the country’s international reputation and accelerate its decline into backwater, “has-been” status – from which the world’s rising players may not allow it to rise for many lifetimes.

Theresa May, prime minister at the time, followed this by allowing Spain a veto over Gibraltar benefiting from any future trade deal between the UK and the EU. This prompted Spanish politicians to claim that the UK would have to open talks over “joint sovereignty”.

That hasn’t happened yet and, personally, This Writer couldn’t care less if a few tax avoiders have their noses put out of joint, but I wonder how it will affect business there.

An economic downturn could be all the prompting needed to turn residents away from a UK that they may rightly feel has betrayed them.

Source: Spain-Gibraltar: Gibraltar Treaty

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Gove rebuked for fiddling the figures on post-Brexit trade

The UK Statistics Authority has delivered an official reprimand to Michael Gove and his Cabinet Office for faking the figures on post-Brexit trade.

The Road Haulage Association published the results of a survey in February, showing that the volume of exports to the EU fell by more than two-thirds (68 per cent) in January, immediately after the UK finally severed its membership of the European Union.

Gove’s Cabinet Office then pretended that the RHA was wrong, stating that “inbound and outbound flows (across all UK ports) were close to normal, at 95% outbound and 96% inbound, in spite of the impact of Covid lockdowns on trade.”

The UKSA’s reprimand pointed out that the Cabinet Office’s response contained “claims based on unpublished data, and as such these figures cannot be verified”.

Worse still, it referred only to “flows” of lorries, and not to the amount of freight they were carrying.

It is entirely possible that the number of lorries going out to the EU was almost as high from January 1 onwards as they had been before.

But the claim that exports had dropped by two-thirds is also likely to be true if most of those lorries were empty – and they were.

Gove has been caught trying to mislead the public over this important issue. By rights he should resign. But does anybody think he will?

Source: UK Statistics Authority rebukes Gove over Brexit figures | Brexit | The Guardian

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If half our exporters are in danger due to Brexit, should we ignore them in favour of the other half?

Imagine this container ship half-empty and you’ll have an idea of the effect that Brexit is having on UK exports.

That was the rationale behind the support for the EU referendum decision, if I recall correctly: that the 48 per cent who were disadvantaged by it should accept that the 52 per cent had won.

Now we see 49 per cent of UK exporters are facing difficulties that are disrupting their business as they struggle to cope with Brexit-related bureaucracy and border checks that the Tory government spent years promising would not be imposed.

People are making the obvious comparison, and This Writer thinks it is reasonable to do so.

All right – the EU referendum vote was democracy in action and it was won by those who wanted to quit the European Union.

That decision has consequences, and we are seeing those consequences in action now.

In January, the UK lost 68 per cent of its export trade to the EU. Now we see that 49 per cent of exporting companies are experiencing difficulties with the new system. If the situation continues, they may close. Already fishery firms are closing.

If firms go out of business, people will lose their jobs and the economy will spiral into a recession so deep that 2008 will seem like a picnic in comparison.

I wonder if Brexiteers who work for affected firms will still be telling Remainers, “You lost – get over it!” from the food bank queues.

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Since Brexit the UK has lost 68% of exports to its biggest market – because Gove ignored the experts

Michael Gove says the UK has had enough of experts: it seems his Chelsea scarf has cut off the supply of blood to his brain.

Now we know why senior Tories have been quietly telling us we’ll have to wait a number of years before seeing the benefit (ha ha) of Brexit.

I notice that the number of years mentioned seems to vary between five and 50. That also tells us much.

But it is our memories that we should be consulting. We were told that Brexit would take us out of the shadow of the EU and into the “sunlit uplands” of independence (even though we were never dependent on the European Union, when the UK was a member).

That was the happy fantasy; this is the bitter fact:

The volume of exports going through British ports to the EU fell by a staggering 68% last month compared with January last year, mostly as a result of problems caused by Brexit.

It’s a drop of two-thirds – a disastrous amount for any country. For the fifth-richest in the world, it signals a precipitous fall to a place much lower in the international wealth rankings.

And there must be no passing of blame. Responsibility lies firmly with Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, it seems – who ignored repeated warnings from the Road Haulage Association.

In a letter to Gove dated 1 February, the RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, also told the minister he and his officials had repeatedly warned over several months of problems and called for measures to lessen difficulties – but had been largely ignored.

In addition to the 68% fall-off in exports, about 65%-75% of vehicles that had come over from the EU were going back empty because there were no goods for them to return with, due to hold-ups on the UK side, and because some UK companies had either temporarily or permanently halted exports to the EU.

“I find it deeply frustrating and annoying that ministers have chosen not to listen to the industry and experts,” he said.

Ah, well. We all know Michael Gove’s views about experts.

Yes indeed. Mr Gove said the people of the UK had had enough of experts getting it wrong all the time.

Unfortunately for him, it seems the experts – and, yes, they do come from an organisation that can be reduced to an acronym – were right and he was wrong.

I wonder how many billions of pounds he has cost his fellow UK citizens?

Source: Fury at Gove as exports to EU slashed by 68% since Brexit | Brexit | The Guardian

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Kwarteng gives up plan to cut workers’ rights post-Brexit

Kwasi Kwarteng: “We’re not interested in watering down workers’ rights.”

It seems Kwasi Kwarteng has been shamed into giving up on a review of UK workers’ rights post-Brexit that could have significantly reduced the living standards of millions of people.

Only last week, the Business Secretary confirmed that he was consulting businesses in plans that could include an end to the 48-hour maximum working week, changes to rules about breaks at work, and the removal of in-work benefits.

But he told Robert Peston yesterday (January 27):

“The review is no longer happening within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). I made it very very clear to officials in the department that we’re not interested in watering down workers’ rights.

“I can’t have been more clear about this on a number of occasions. I’ve said repeatedly that Brexit gives us the opportunity to have higher standards and a higher growth economy and that’s what officials in the department are 100% focused on.”

Was he shamed into this u-turn?

This Site and many others recently reminded Kwarteng that he is a co-author of the notorious collection of hard-right-wing Tory essays, Britannia Unchained.

The book dared to claim that British workers – the power behind the Industrial Revolution and a huge amount of progress that has changed the world – are lazy.

But Kwarteng and his fellow authors, including current Home Secretary Priti Patel, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and Queen of Cheese Liz Truss, were found to be among the laziest MPs in Parliament at the time, with some of the worst attendance records.

This change of plan comes after the union Unite struck a deal with British Airways to end the despicable practice of “fire and re-hire” – forcing workers out of their jobs in order to make them re-apply for the same work at lower pay and with worse working conditions.

It is another great victory for working people at a time when Tories might expect to be able to get away with anything.

Source: Review of UK workers’ rights post-Brexit is axed in sudden U-turn | Kwasi Kwarteng | The Guardian

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.

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