Dec 09 2019

LEAKED US TRADE TALKS SHOW HOW TRUMP IS DICTATING JOHNSON’S APPROACH TO A HARD BREXIT

Given their shared record of constant lying, the carefully prepared declaration from both Trump and Johnson that the thought of further privatising the NHS never entered their minds, will be taken by most people as an indication that the NHS is very much up for sale. The article below from Open Democracy  looks a little deeper into the one-sided relationship between the US and UK

 

LEAKED US TRADE TALKS SHOW HOW TRUMP IS DICTATING JOHNSON’S APPROACH TO A HARD BREXIT

 

‘”I wouldn’t want the NHS on a silver platter.’ That’s fooled them, eh, Boris.”

 

Far from taking back control, Britain has clearly entered into a relationship where we hold none of the cards.

The cat is out of the bag: Boris Johnson is dancing to Donald Trump’s tune, regardless of the damage this might cause to Britain. His promises to maintain Britain’s ‘high standards’ after Brexit are not worth the paper they’re written on.

That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from a set of leaked papers detailing trade talks between US and UK officials over the last 3 years. The minutes, redacted versions of which Jeremy Corbyn held up at last Tuesday’s leaders debate, were posted by an anonymous source on the discussion website, Reddit. They show how the US administration has already successfully bullied Britain into taking a harder Brexit position, which is good for Trump’s geopolitical games and US big business, but bad for Britain’s economy and British welfare.

The papers show US officials pushing Britain to an ever harder Brexit position, clear that they don’t want Britain to be a ‘satellite of the EU’ in the way Switzerland is. They even threaten that if the UK continued to push certain EU positions in international forums – something the UK is still bound to do – it could undermine negotiations on a US trade deal.

Papers from the time of Theresa May’s ‘Chequers plan’ are illuminating because the administration is clearly furious at May’s promise of long-term alignment with EU standards which would prevent the dilution of British food regulations which US agribusiness hopes to benefit from. US negotiators saw this as a “worst case scenario” and threatened to raise it with Trump ahead of his UK visit.

One of the most significant changes which Johnson made to May’s Brexit deal was a weakening of the alignment to EU standards, suggesting US bullying worked. But it’s particularly worrying that economic modelling seen by the trade officials showed this was likely to be good for the US, but much less so for “UK welfare and GDP gains.”

We already suspected that the US was pushing lower food standards in Britain post-Brexit. That’s because US food standards are far more favourable to big business than EU standards, and the only way to help US business increase its penetration into British markers is to undermine current regulation. US officials explicitly mention the infamous chlorine-washed chickens, promising to help the British government sell the concept to a sceptical British public. They attack attempts to reduce sugar in food, the protection of regional products (like Stilton cheese and Cornish pasties) and even nutritional labelling, which they say is more harmful than it is useful.

While US officials are eager to give US experts and multinational corporations better “participation” in standard-setting in Britain post Brexit, they are deeply critical of Parliament sticking its nose into such issues. They call the European Parliament’s decision to temporarily ban the Monsanto-owned chemical glyphosate “unhelpful”.

Although the trade deal could exacerbate the drivers of climate change, US officials report they’re “banned” from mentioning greenhouse gas emissions reductions. In fact, the US seems interested in introducing a ‘corporate court system’ in a US-UK deal, formally known as ‘investor state dispute settlement’ or ISDS, a mechanism regularly used in other trade deals to make government action on climate change more difficult. ISDS would allow thousands of US multinationals access to secretive tribunals, for the first time, where they can sue the British government for treating them ‘unfairly’. Unfairness, in this context, could mean phasing out coal-fired power or banning fracking.

The papers show both sides are deeply interested in a so-called e-commerce chapter, which is aimed at creating new rules for the digital economy. The problem is that these rules would lock in the power of internet giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon, making it harder for governments to tax and regulate these corporations, and making Labour’s proposals for a public broadband service all but impossible.

Across all service sectors, the US wants sweeping liberalisation, based on a so-called ‘negative list’ – unless you specifically list it, assume it will be opened up to US corporate penetration. This could mean parts of the NHS being further opened up (the US expresses an interest in nursing) and would make bringing formerly public services like mail or rail companies back into public ownership that much harder.

Moreover, US officials repeat Trump’s concerns that countries like Britain aren’t paying enough for our medicines, with a special concern about cutting edge biological medicines used in the treatment of many cancers. Introducing a US-style pricing regime would make such drugs unaffordable to the NHS. Incredibly, trade negotiators received special lobbying from pharmaceutical corporations as part of the trade talks.

Both the British and American sides agree that these talks should be secret – exempt from freedom of information rules – and it’s clear to see why. The papers reveal the British government being subject to bullying by the biggest country on earth. Far from taking back control, Britain has clearly entered into a relationship where we hold none of the cards.

They make a mockery of Boris Johnson’s manifesto pledge to protect British public services and standards – that would be absolutely impossible under the type of trade deal being discussed here. And they justify Labour’s focus on the US trade deal at this election. This deal is at the centre of the divergent views the two biggest parties have about what sort of country they want to build after 12 December. On the one side, we could have a government which tries to fight inequality and climate change by constraining corporate power through tax, regulation and decent public services. On the other, one that will ignore the interests of their own electorate to kowtow to the biggest corporations in the world.

27.11.19

 

 This article first appeared at:-

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/leaked-us-trade-talks-show-how-trump-is-dictating-johnsons-approach-to-a-hard-brexit/

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also see:-

http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2019/12/09/the-rise-of-national-populism-and-reactionary-unionism-a-last-ditch-attempt-to-hold-together-the-uk/

 

FROM BLATCHERISM TO MAYBYNISM

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Apr 06 2019

INDICTMENT ON VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEE PEOPLES

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal met in London on the 3-4th November 2018. During the session on the Violation with Impunity of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples the following Indictment was submitted.

 

 

INDICTMENT SUBMITTED TO THE PERMANENT PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL

SESSION ON THE VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANT AND REFUGEE PEOPLES (2017-2019)

“HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT ON TRIAL” LONDON HEARING
3-4 November 2018

http://permanentpeoplestribunal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Indictment_final.docx.pdf

 

 

Specific charges against the UK government (in its own right and as representative of the EU and member states and the global North)

1. Within a work force impoverished and rendered insecure by neoliberal policies, it has ensured that migrant and refugee workers often remain super-exploited, marginalised and deprived of rights by legal and operational measures including:

i.Failure (in common with virtually the whole of the global North) to sign or ratify the UN Migrant Workers’ Convention; Continue reading “INDICTMENT ON VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEE PEOPLES”

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Jul 07 2017

TWO REVOLUTIONS?

Steve Freeman reports on the politics displayed at the Left Unity Party’s conference held on June 24th in London. This was first published as a letter in Weekly Worker (http://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/1162/letters/)

 

TWO REVOLUTIONS?

Jeremy quite happy with the Crown

On June 24, Left Unity members met in conference to consider the way ahead in the next period. Members are aware of the powerful forces pulling the party to the right. But conference revealed a struggle over whether the party should respond by moving to the right or shifting to the left. The general election sharpened up the issues. Should Left Unity carry on as before, or join the ‘Corbyn revolution’, or become the party of ‘democratic revolution’?

A resolution from Birmingham says: “The ‘Corbyn revolution’ has for the foreseeable future closed the electoral space to the left of Labour.” It has “unleashed expectations which can’t be met within the confines of the existing structures of the Labour Party”. This will spill onto the streets, in campaigns and communities. Like a whirlpool, this ‘revolution’ is pulling LU down the plug. Continue reading “TWO REVOLUTIONS?”

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Jan 03 2017

GRASSROOTS UNITE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE ATTACKS COYNE’S AND McCLUSKEY’s CAPITULATION TO ANTI-MIGRANT POLITICS

Ian Allinson, the grassroots socialist candidate for Unite General Secretary, argues that McCluskey’s fudge on free movement stops him effectively defending members from the damage caused by Coyne’s attack on workers’ rights to free movement and equal treatment.

Gerard Coyne, the right-wing candidate in this election, is all over the press this morning (Independent, Daily Mail) demanding that “taking back control” of borders is a red line in Brexit negotiations, and that this is more important than trade arrangements.
Continue reading “GRASSROOTS UNITE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE ATTACKS COYNE’S AND McCLUSKEY’s CAPITULATION TO ANTI-MIGRANT POLITICS”

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Nov 29 2016

LITTLE ENGLAND

We are posting the following letter by Steve Freeman of the Left Unity Party and RISE  which addresses some of the politics underlying Brexit.

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LITTLE ENGLAND

The iconic picture of Trump with Farage reveals a certain truth about Brexit. Here we have a glimpse of reality, entirely absent from the Tory referendum. We can invent our own dialogue. Farage says: ‘Donald, I am handing you the UK on a plate.’ Trump, thumbs up, replies: ‘Thanks. I’ll take Scotland as my golf course, the NHS and more tax breaks for American multinationals. I want free trade deals to benefit America and no more wind farms.’
Continue reading “LITTLE ENGLAND”

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Oct 29 2016

FOR AN INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLICAN POLITICS THAT ADAPTS TO 21st CENTURY TERRAINS OF STRUGGLE

John Tummon of the Republican Socialist Alliance makes a plea for a new international republican politics. For an Internationalist Republican politics that adapts to 21st century terrains of struggle.

John Tummon

FOR AN INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLICAN POLITICS THAT ADAPTS TO 21st CENTURY TERRAINS OF STRUGGLE

The Dalmeny Declaration of 15 October 2016 argued the need for a “new federal, social and secular European republic, with a written constitution and a Bill of Rights based on the democratic principle that economic and political power shall be in the hands of the sovereign people of Europe. The constitution will include the democratic “right of nations to self-determination” including the right to leave”.
Continue reading “FOR AN INTERNATIONALIST REPUBLICAN POLITICS THAT ADAPTS TO 21st CENTURY TERRAINS OF STRUGGLE”

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May 02 2016

SUPPORT THE JUNIOR DOCTORS

 SUPPORT THE JUNIOR DOCTORS

NO COMPROMISES, NO BACKDOOR DEALS

DEFEND THE NHS

 

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For months, the junior doctors of the National Health Service have stood firm in the face of an onslaught from the Conservative government in Westminster. Socialized medicine works and, indeed, it is extremely popular. With a national health service, access to medical care is free and available to all. Everyone has the right to see a doctor when sick and for periodic preventative check-ups. Yet years of underfunding have taken their toll. Doctors are overworked and stressed out. It can take several months to get an appointment to see a consultant. There are also too few nurses and support staff, so those providing care are harried and unable to give the careful attention patients need.
Continue reading “SUPPORT THE JUNIOR DOCTORS”

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Feb 24 2015

ROLLING BACK SCOTLAND’S ‘DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION’

Allan Armstrong (RCN) updates his socialist republican analyses of constitutional developments in the UK and Ireland, in the led up to the May 2015 Westminster election.

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ROLLING BACK SCOTLAND’S ‘DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION’

1. British unionists and Scottish nationalists attempt to derail Scotland’s ‘democratic revolution’

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There are several important features to the political landscape we can currently see in Scotland and the wider UK. One key feature is the shock that the ‘Yes’ campaign gave to the British ruling class and, in particular, to their representatives in the mainstream unionist parties.

The referendum campaign had conjured up a ‘democratic revolution’, beyond either the control of Westminster or Holyrood. Voter registration was 97% and voter participation was 85%. Scotland experienced a wave of public meetings, canvassing, street stalls and cultural events, along with a huge volume of electronic correspondence and face-to-face conversations throughout the campaigning period.

Continue reading “ROLLING BACK SCOTLAND’S ‘DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION’”

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Dec 04 2014

A Report of the Radical Independence Campaign conference held in Glasgow on November 22nd

Penny Cole of  ‘A World to Win’ reports on the Radical Independence Campaign conference held in Glasgow on November 22nd. This is followed by the talk given by Angharad Tomos of  Cymdeithas yr Iaith/Welsh Language Society to the session on Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.

A section of the RIC conference held in the Clydeside Auditorium November 22nd

A section of the RIC conference held in the Clydeside Auditorium on November 22nd

 

The appetite for political change demonstrated by the Scotland independence referendum continues undiminished as shown by two massive events on Glasgow’s riverside on Saturday.

A Scottish National Party rally packed 12,000 into the Hydro, a strange building that in daytime looks like the Michelin Man and at night glows in shifting colours like an arriving space ship.

Continue reading “A Report of the Radical Independence Campaign conference held in Glasgow on November 22nd”

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Sep 02 2014

A LETTER TO SCOTLAND’S NEW RADICALS – Gerry Hassan

The writer and political commentator, Gerry Hassan, has written the following letter to “Scotland’s New Radicals”, including the Radical Independence Campaign.Gerry raises some pertinent questions, so we asked him if we could repost his article. Gerry agreed. We hope to post a reply quite soon.

 

Gerry Hassan

Gerry Hassan

 

Radical Scotland’s re-emergence and re-invigoration around the independence referendum has been one of the most welcome and positive occurrences for many years in Scottish politics.

Continue reading “A LETTER TO SCOTLAND’S NEW RADICALS – Gerry Hassan”

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