#Brexit Surely not, who would have thought? Former UK Trade Chief Claims Britain ‘Poorer’ Without EU Single Market

Former UK Trade Chief Claims Britain ‘Poorer’ Without EU Single Market

The UK’s former top international trade official, Sir Martin Donnelly, has warned that the EU’s single market remains the only possibility for his home country to be “able to deliver the guaranteed market access, shared regulation and consumer protection that Britain needs” after Brexit as “there is no credible free trade deal on offer” for London.

The former chief civil servant in the Department for International Trade, who left his post earlier this year, has written an article for the Guardian’s Observer, warning MPs that “leaving the EU’s legal structures will leave Britain more protected, more regulated and poorer.”

Sir Martin Donnelly has stressed that his county won’t get the same benefits it enjoys from the EU’s single market membership and therefore urged “MPs unsure about what form the final Brexit deal should take to buy themselves time by backing temporary membership of the European Economic Area,” which will “allow more time to see” if the country “can find a realistic alternative that meets its economic needs.”

READ MORE: You Banker! Goldman Sachs Boss Angers Brexiteers With Second Referendum Idea

“Please don’t throw away our hard-won competitiveness, our knowledge-based economy which attracts global talent and investment, and our successful services sector because of false promises that we can leave the single market and everything will be fine,” the former civil servant warns. “That is not what the facts tell us.”

His urge comes amid reports that a leaked European commission document suggests that after its exit from the European Union, the UK would be offered only “a basic free trade deal similar to that struck with Canada” and would not have any special conditions which would grant it access to the single European market, as was hotly anticipated by Theresa May’s government.

READ MORE: British PM Mulls Extra 20 Billion Pounds to EU as Part of Brexit Divorce Bill

In summer of 2016, Britain voted in favor of leaving the European Union and in March 2017, the country initiated the official withdrawal process, which is set to be completed by the end of March, 2019. Its talks with the EU however are currently deadlocked over three aspects: how much the UK owes the EU, what happens to the Northern Ireland border and what happens to UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens residing in Britain.

London wants to negotiate its future trade relations with the Union and its plan for a two year transition period to ensure the immediate post-Brexit period is as smooth as possible. Brussels however says it is not going to discuss the future until enough progress has been made on the above issues.

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Britain ‘prepared to pay £450 million Iran debt to help free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’

INazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella (PA)The International Chamber of Commerce demanded Britain pay £450 million back in 2009 but a ruling on international sanctions against Iran prevented this from happening.

It is thought that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe may be being held by the Iranian government as “collateral” for the debt.

Her husband. Richard Ratcliffe, has met with Mr Johnson, asking that he find him safe passage to Iran and telling him the “softly softly” approach is not working.

He told The Sun: “It is important that the UK honours its international legal obligations, so that Iran can honour its legal obligations.” 

Mr Jonhson met with Mr Ratcliffe earlier this week (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Ahead of their meeting, Mr Johnson said he would “leave no stone unturned” in his efforts to secure Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release.

Despite widespread speculation, the government continues to insist that the two issues are unrelated.

A spokeswoman told Mail Online: “This is a long standing case and relates to contracts signed over 40 years ago with the pre-revolution Iranian regime.

“Funding to settle the debt was paid to the high court by the Treasury in 2002. Iran’s Ministry of Defence remains subject to sanctions.

“It is wrong to link a completely separate debt issue with any other aspect of our bilateral relationship with Iran.”

The enemy within: israel Lobby Is Slowly Being Dragged Into the Light

Israel Lobby Dragged Into the Light

Jonathan Cook on their powerful role in US politics

The scandal surrounding Priti Patel, who was forced to resign as Britain’s international aid minister last week after secret meetings with Israeli officials during a “family holiday”, offers a small, opaque window on the UK’s powerful Israel lobby.

Patel’s off-the-books meetings with 12 Israelis, including prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were organized by a British lobbyist in violation of government rules requiring careful documentation of official meetings. That is to prevent conflicts of interest and illicit lobbying by foreign powers.

Government protocol was flouted again when Patel headed to the Golan Heights, occupied Syrian territory, escorted by the Israeli army. There she was shown an Israeli military field hospital that patches up Syrians, including Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters, wounded in Syria’s civil war.

Afterwards, Patel pressed for the Israeli army, one of the most powerful in the world, to receive a chunk of Britain’s overseas aid. Meanwhile, she has sought to cut aid to the Palestinians, including to vital projects in Gaza. A clue as to how she reached such absurd “humanitarian” priorities is provided in the figure of Stuart Polak, mentor on her Israel “holiday”.

The honorary president of Conservative Friends of Israel, Lord Polak has recruited four-fifths of Conservative MPs, and almost every government minister, to a group whose explicit goal is to advance Israeli interests in Britain. The prime minister, Theresa May, is regarded as one of Israel’s most fervent supporters in Europe.

That should be a cause for public indignation – no other foreign state enjoys such unabashed, high-level political support.

Another window on Israel’s meddling opened briefly last week. The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, took to Twitter to relay a damning comment from an unnamed “senior” member of Patel’s party. In a clear reference to Israel, the source observed: “The entire apparatus has turned a blind eye to a corrupt relationship that allows a country to buy access”.

A short time later, presumably under pressure, Kuenssberg deleted the tweet. The BBC has not reported the comment elsewhere and the senior Conservative has not dared go public. Such, it seems, is the intimidating and corrupting influence of the lobby.

More than a decade ago, two leading American academics wrote a study of the Israel lobby’s role in the United States, Israel’s chief patron for half a century. It was a sign of the lobby’s influence that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt could not find a publisher at home. They had to turn to a British journal instead.

The Israel lobby’s strength in western capitals has depended precisely on its ability to remain out of view. Simply to talk about the lobby risks being accused of perpetuating anti-Semitic tropes of Jewish cabals.

But Mearsheimer and Walt described a type of pressure group familiar in the US – and increasingly in European capitals. Everyone from Cuba to health insurers and arms manufacturers operate aggressive lobbyists in Washington to secure their interests.

What is special about the Israel lobby in the US – an amalgam of hawkish Jewish leadership organizations and messianic Christian evangelicals – is the fear it exploits to silence critics. No one wants to be labeled an anti-Semite.

Rarely identified or held to account, the lobby has entrenched its power.

That is what Britain’s heir to the throne, Prince Charles, was talking about three decades ago – even if he misidentified it as a “Jewish” rather Israel lobby – in a forgotten letter found in the public archives and publicized at the weekend.

“Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in the US? I must be naive, I suppose!” he wrote to a family friend in 1986.

Today, as recent events illustrate, the lobby is struggling to stay in the shadows. Social media and Palestinians with camera phones have exposed a global audience to systematic abuses by the Israeli army the western media largely ignored. For the first time, Israel supporters sound evasive and dissembling.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s strident efforts in the US Congress through 2014 and 2015 to prevent a nuclear accord with Iran dragged the lobby even farther into the light.

The Israel lobby’s dirty tricks in the UK were exposed earlier this year too. An Al Jazeera TV documentary showed Conservative party officials colluding with the Israeli embassy to “take down” Alan Duncan, a foreign office minister who supports the Palestinian cause.

It is noteworthy that Ms Patel’s downfall came about because of social media. Israeli officials like police minister Gilad Erdan were so unused to scrutiny or accountability themselves that they happily tweeted photos with Patel. Erdan is a key player in the lobby, running a “smear unit” to target overseas critics of Israel.

We may never know why Patel so grossly flouted ministerial rules or what she quietly promised in those meetings in Israel. Colleagues have hinted that, in a pattern familiar from US politics, she hoped to win over the lobby and its wealthy donors for a future leadership bid.

There is no way to know, given the lobby’s penchant for secrecy, whether Patel simply proved less adept at treading a path marked out by former Conservative and Labor party leadership hopefuls. But it is also possible that the lobby is discovering changes to the political and cultural environment are making its work much harder.

There is growing hysteria about foreign interference in US and European politics. Is it not time for western states to show as much concern about the malign influence of Israel’s lobbyists as they do about Russian hackers?

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Should British MPs Including the PM and Foreign Secretary be Lobbyists for Israel, An Undeclared Nuclear-armed State?

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By Hans Stehling

Apparently more than 80% of Conservative MPs at Westminster are members of the CFI lobby group for Israel. This is a powerful, influential, moneyed, political pressure group that holds a lavish dinner every year at the House of Commons for up to 700 guests and arranges trips to Israel (but not to the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights) for individual MPs, including various members of the cabinet, in order that they be indoctrinated into the Political Zionist movement.

There is clearly something dangerous about a non-elected pressure group for a foreign state being allowed to subvert the business of Parliament by exerting undue pressure upon our democratically elected representatives who we, as British citizens, pay out of our taxes to be our voice in Parliament in order to supervise and enact legislation for the benefit and security of the nation – but not for the citizens of a foreign state who have their own Legislative Assembly in Tel Aviv.

Last week, a Conservative Minister was forced to resign her position, as a consequence of her extraordinarily improper conduct in accompanying the head of the CFI lobby to12 secret meetings with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv and elsewhere including the Israeli military occupation force in the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

That particular ministerial career is, of course, now at an end and the lady has returned to the obscurity of the backbenches. However, the head of the CFI lobby for Israel who arranged the meetings, and who was inexplicably ennobled by David Cameron in 2015, still sits in the House of Lords.

The fact is that the British electorate, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or agnostic, did not and never will endorse Likud Political Zionism which is an ideological movement that has dispossessed and disenfranchised the entire 5m indigenous people of Palestine.

The majority of the people of Britain believes in racial equality, justice and the rule of law. Political Zionism rejects those concepts and, therefore, our Parliamentary representatives should reject radical Political Zionism – an ideology that has no place in a democratic society.

The Best Hope for Britain: National Emergency Labour Government

The Best Hope for Britain: National Emergency Labour Government

Make no mistake about it. As the former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party Nick Clegg recently put it – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland faces its greatest and gravest existential national emergency – since the days of the Second World War. Large swathes of the British people are burying their heads in the sand at the oncoming Brexit economic, social, civil, political and national constitutional unrest and upheaval. The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union of which it has been a member for the past forty three years is being handled in the worst possible way by the British Conservative minority Government of Theresa May supported [and thus propped up and kept alive] in a confidence and supply arrangement by the ten MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party whose votes in the Westminster House of Commons as a pivotal national and local political player was bought at a massive 1 Billion Pounds promised back in June of [as of October late still not one penny of 1 billion promised by May/DUP] new investment in Northern Ireland.

The remaking of Britain is not going terribly well and neither are the Conservative Party management of the UK-EU Exit negotiations. The Conservative Party has been in charge of Britain for the last seven and a half years. Critically it was the Tory Party, which gave the United Kingdom and the European Union along with the rest of the world the UK Referendum on continued British membership of the European Union. It has also been the Conservative Party that has been in charge of organizing and executing Britain’s departure from the EU, in essence implementing the decision of the British electorate who constituted 52 per cent of the voting population who voted to Leave the European Union on June 23rd 2016th. The Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron made the disastrous short term intra-Tory Party tactical decision to call the Referendum to appease his hard-line anti-European backbenches and Cabinet ministers in a Tory Party civil war raging since the days of Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech of October 1988, Mr. Cameron went on to write the ridiculous 2013 pledge into his 2015 General Election manifesto and it has been his successor as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Leader of the Tory Party who has been in charge of implementing the democratic mandate of the British people to Leave the EU pledging during her leadership election launch at the Royal United Services Institute to ensure ‘Brexit meant Brexit.’

This Mrs. Theresa May has made a complete hash of. The UK’s departure from the EU -14 months on and still in the EU with only roughly anywhere between 3 to 17 months left before definitely being kicked out of the EU in March 2019- has been a complete catastrophe of national humiliation under the arrogant ego maniac vain incompetence of Tory Prime Minister Theresa May. Her Conservative Party civil war over the European Question in British politics has effectively led to the trashing of some of Britain’s most important international relationships, alliances and partnerships. The time has come for some brave, wise, socially liberal and One Nation patriotic pro-European Tories, the Liberal Democrat Party, Irish Nationalists and Unionists, Scottish Nationalists and Unionists to join with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Parliamentary Party and form a Government of National Emergency to stop a Hard Brexit and usher in a Soft Brexit with the UK leaving the EU soon and under a good Deal and Favourable Terms.

A domestically Whiggish progressive socialist Labour Ministry led by a Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn and backed by One Nation Labour, Liberals, Conservatives and Unionists/Nationalists in the British House of Commons would be enough to overcome Theresa May’s Tory diehards and would work to ensuring the benefits of the Single Market and delivering a pro-jobs, pro-growth, pro-equality, pro-green, pro-UK Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister should invite One Nation pro-European Tory Ken Clarke to become European Chancellor in effect Brexit Secretary with a newly formed Ministry for Europe, a subsidiary of the Foreign Office. Ken Clarke can get negotiations back on track with a Labour Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn and a Labour Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry. New Labour Pro-Europeans should rest assured that Corbyn has effectively surrendered most of Labour European Brexit policy making to the pro-European Labour wing under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer Home Secretary.

Mr. Corbyn should invite New Labour founder Lord Mandelson to become Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Board of Trade in charge of negotiating the United Kingdom’s major Free Trade Agreements post-Brexit in a Corbyn Ministry of National Emergency. For bringing over some pro-European Single Market Remain Scottish Tories a Prime Minister Corbyn should send Ruth Davidson to the House of Lords and appoint her First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Scotland working closely with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Johanna Cherry of the Scottish National Party should sit in Mr. Corbyn’s Cabinet as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Secretary of Defence Angus Brendan Macneil, Secretary of Culture, Media and Sport.

The Westminster Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Nigel Dodds MP should be offered the newly created post of Vice-Premier and Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Premier Corbyn should retain the services of John McDonnell as a soft-Brexit, anti-austerity, pro-market but socialist democratic Chancellor and Dianne Abbot should become President of the Labour Party replacing the old role of Chairman. Anna Soubry the former SDP now Tory MP for Nottingham should be offered the position of Secretary of State for Industry, Energy and Climate Change while either the cross-bench Peer Jim O’Neil or Labour’s Barry Gardiner or Lord Mandelson should be given a special brief as the dedicated Minister for China and deliver the best possible flourishing of UK-China relations.

A domestically and internationally Whiggish Labour Government of National Unity – with a dash of Marxism and progressive Scottish radicalism tempered by sensible non-ideological centrist Tory pragmatism and social democratic Lloyd George Liberalism finessed by a twist of Gladstonian Unionism and Irish nationalism leading to a new close British relationship and policy in Europe for a Euro-Asian Global Britain. The Irish unionists and nationalists in the form of the DUP and Sinn Fein should support such a British Government in the House of Commons at Westminster in order to restore devolved power-sharing government in Stormont and unlock the 1 Billion Pounds promised. Ironically it is Jeremy Corbyn who is the only potential British Prime Minister and British MP to be able to get the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement back up and running in Belfast between the two major local parties and preserve the gains made between Ireland and the UK and Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Scottish nationalist and unionists should support a soft-Brexit Labour Government of National Unity to preserve Scotland’s benefits and access to the Single Market as will a Labour Government of National Unity for all of the United Kingdom engineered by a European Chancellor, the British Chancellor for Europe, Ken Clarke former Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer in John Major’s Government and Education Secretary and Health Secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s Government as well as serving as an MP in the House of Commons since 1970 and holding the role of Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in the first Cameron Ministry. Instead of Ken Clarke acting as a go-between for Theresa May’s right-wing nationalistic, pro-austerity, Hard Brexit incompetent Tory minority Government he should be delivering Brexit as Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn and Britain’s Chancellor for Europe leading the Ministry of Europe in charge of crafting a Good Exit Deal and shaping a future new partnership for Britain and the European Union with the UK firmly embedded in Europe and the World.

In order to secure the firm support of Tory MPs in the House of Commons consisting of Cameron/Osborne Lieutenants and pro-European Remaining Conservatives, anti-Theresa May One Nation rebels and disgruntled Leavers Mr. Corbyn will have to make some compromises and concessions on domestic policy and politics by not banging on so much about identity politics, and new left liberal western extreme multiculturalism identity politics which could lose Labour votes among its working class loyalists in the North who voted Brexit and the more centrist New Labour Tories that Lord Mandelson thinks Mr. Corbyn can win over for a really big majority further down the line. He should bring back Sarah Champion to the Cabinet and also not talk so much about identity politics. He can continue to combat such intolerances and preach wise universal enlightened harmony but it should not be the loudest issue being spoken about domestically.

The focus must be on stopping a Hard Brexit and getting the Economy sorted out for better jobs, better standards of living and better lives for hard working people. A Labour Government of National Unity for National Emergency times led by Jeremy Corbyn must not indulge in the Hillary Clinton mode of identity politics a la 2016 but focus on economics and trade and living standards and anti-austerity in the Bernie Sanders jobs and quality of life mode. By doing this Corbyn can peel away with across the floor defections from the Tory Party of further MPs such as Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry, Grant Shapps, Ken Clarke, Sir Oliver Letwin, Theresa Villiers, some Scottish Ruth Davidson Tories as well as Notting Hill members Ed Vaizey, Dominic Grieve, Phillip Hammond, Rory Stewart and form a viable working majority in the House of Commons to deliver the UK’s departure from the EU and a new domestic and foreign policy for Britain.

Internationally such a Labour British Government led by a socialist Marxist Labour Party leader will never be supported by the United States and the Trump administration or for that matter a moderate Democrat administration. The Americans and the CIA simply will not have Jeremy Corbyn. Nor for that matter will some in the money markets and certain banks and speculators and governments could well try to crucify such a Labour Government financially. Hence new sources of financing and markets and consumers and investment and trade are crucial to plugging lost opportunities and augmenting existing financial credibility while insuring against lost American backing in the international money markets. Thus a good strong UK-China relationship could help soften Brexit and a more mature UK-Russia relationship can evolve but the price for Eastern backing and support will be a hard headed realist reappraisal of UK-US relations. The Continental Europeans do want to do a deal but just not with Theresa May or the British Tory Party. They can do a sensible deal with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. If Jeremy Corbyn stops British interference in the Middle East wars and failed policies of Bush and Blair and stands up to Trump while maintaining a good relationship with Beijing and Moscow and the EU27 then his international stock despite cooling the UK-US relationship will actually rise both internationally and domestically as well as throughout European capitals. That is what a Jeremy Corbyn Labour Government could do for Britain

Boris “the clown” Johnson: Labour MPs Speaking to RT Is a ‘Scandal’ – But His Old Man Was on Only Last Month

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Apparently the buffoon did not even know his father (and six Conservative MPs) had been happy to speak to RT as well

While Boris Johnson claims it is a “scandal” that Labour MPs are willing to appear on RT, the Tory foreign secretary seems unaware his own father came on the channel just last month. In fact, a lot of Johnson’s Tory colleagues have.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Johnson claimed RT’s news output is “propaganda” and admonished those who have appeared.

“If you study the output of Russia Today, and if you consider the state of the press in Russia at present, it is a scandal that members of the party opposite are continuing to validate and legitimate that kind of propaganda by going on those programs,” Johnson said.

“I’m assured by my ministerial team none of them do so.”

Now the consequences of BREXIT are clearer we should be allowed a second referendum

Reverse Brexit with second referendum to save your economy OECD tells UK

‘The positive impact on growth would be significant,’ influential thinktank says of reversing Brexit – as it forecasts £40bn cost of ploughing on

Economic experts have made an explosive suggestion of a further referendum to reverse Brexit, to avoid the crippling of the British economy.

The influential Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the deadlock in the exit talks now threatened a “disorderly Brexit”, with severe consequences.

Its report controversially puts the case for a dramatic rethink on the agenda – suggesting halting EU withdrawal is a route to avoiding that fate

May must stand up to Johnson to unlock Brexit talks, says

“In case Brexit gets reversed by political decision (change of majority, new referendum, etc), the positive impact on growth would be significant,” the report said.

The suggestion is certain to infuriate Brexiteers, but will bolster campaigners calling for the British public to be given a second vote, when the “facts of Brexit” are known.

The report was immediately seized on by one pro-EU group as the “final nail in the coffin for the already long-buried notion that Brexit will benefit our economy”.

The OECD analysis suggests a “no-deal” Brexit would wipe up to a staggering £40bn off UK economic growth by 2019.

The UK economy will grow 1.5 per cent slower in 2019 if the country crashes out of the EU without a trade deal or a transition deal with the bloc in March 2019, it said.

Crucially, it makes the assumption that trade talks will break down – triggering a hard Brexit and slapping tariffs on imports and exports between the EU and UK.

Wes Streeting, a Labour MP and supporter of the Open Britain group, said: “Today’s OECD analysis should be the final nail in the coffin for the already long-buried notion that Brexit will benefit our economy.

“A hard Brexit or walking away without a deal would wreak even more punishment on the UK economy.

“The Government can avoid this if they drop their ideological and self-imposed red lines and start negotiating for continued membership of both the single market and the customs union.”

The OECD admitted that Brexit negotiations were difficult to forecast, and could “prove more favourable” than assumed in its report – boosting trade, investment and growth.

But it warned the very real threat of no deal would spark a sharp reaction by financial markets, sending the exchange rate to new lows and leading to a downgrade in the UK’s sovereign rating.

“Business investment would seize up, and heightened price pressures would choke off private consumption,” the report said.

“The current account deficit could be harder to finance, although its size would likely be reduced.

There are also risks that Scotland and Northern Ireland could vote to stay in the EU, in a second referendum, which would have a “major” impact on the national economy

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