In a desperate attempt to prevent the estimated loss of up to 45% of foreign direct investment (Source: London School of Economics) which goes to the financial services sector in the UK, the UK Government is to roll back legislation for money launderers, drug dealers, Middle Eastern Dictators and Russian Billionaires. Theresa May’s recent pledge on a low tax and dynamic finance sector can only mean one thing, more dodgy cash in the UK. Indeed the UK (including some dependencies) is responsible for 4 of the 15 worst money laundering areas in the World, so it already has form. Also many UK banks have been fined by the US for assisting in money laundering.
Capital inflows from illegal activities are nothing new, indeed during the 2008 banking crash the UN estimated that 350bn USD suddenly appeared in the world’s financial system. Much of it making it’s way through British territories and then on to London.
Middle Eastern states and Russian oligarchs have already been very successful in placing cash in the UK financial services sector and (usually) London based property schemes. Some are already believed to have seized on the opportunities that Brexit presents, namely the lack if oversight of where there money comes from. Meanwhile the legitimate operations of many UK financial institutions will simply move to more transparent counties such as Germany, France and Luxembourg. Putting Luxembourg and banking transparency together may sound a little odd, however over the last 10-11 years this tiny country (where I live) has significantly boosted its compliance worldwide with some very thorough “know your client” rules being put in place.
Responsibility for negotiating financial arrangements with non-EU countries will rest with The Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox. One should perhaps pay a little more attention to his register of members interests to see just who may wield influence in future.
Liam Fox. Set to appear on Robertsons Jam and Marmalade jars?
UK Trade and Investment has put jam and marmalade exports to France (so for the next two years) at the heart of it’s Brexit export strategy. The policy which will be personally overseen by The Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox and looks like a promising start to his probably short lived Ministerial career.
“UK companies should be aware that the quantities involved will be small at the very beginning.” (Source UKTI Website)
According to my own calculations, the UK could in theory replace the entire car industry with jam and marmalade exports. The UK exports around 16bn UKP of cars per year to the European Union. If we assume that these are high-end jam and marmalade products and will attract a price of around 2UKP per unit then the UK needs to export a mere 8bn jars to make up for potential loss of car exports. Assuming that all exports go to France as planned this would mean that each French resident would need to eat only 121 jars of British jam or marmalade per year to make up for the lack of car exports. Brexit supporter Marine Le Pen has already pledged to make it one of her policies should she win.
The UK of course is no stranger to controversies surrounding jam and marmalade. During the 80s and 90s Robertson’s marmalade attracted significant controversy by using Golliwog images on it jars. To be fair to Robertson’s they always insisted it was never intended to be racist and a Scottish Borders town paid a high price when a number of people dressed up as the marmalade character during a local parade. However, it clearly caused offence to some people either on jars or when discussed in the workplace. So it was really a good idea to get rid of it. One can only imagine that such images will make a comeback in Brexit Britain as it’s those who hate political correctness that won the referendum and are subsequently in charge. The question is will Robertson’s give The Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox the place he deserves on the jars?
At present the UK Government is believed to be in discussion with Nissan and Honda on upgrading their car plants to allow for the manufacturer of high-end jams and marmalades.
This rather sarcastic article aside. Any SME owner who has worked hard and not spent the afternoon at the golf course who manages to take advantage of this export opportunity should be rewarded for their efforts! But as The Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox said British business owners are all too fat and spend Friday afternoon on the golf course, so I am not overly optimistic. Anyway good luck we need all the exports we can get right now, so go for it jam makers! The UK is no stranger to jam and marmalade and I have to say does make some of the best stuff on earth!
Frankly if we can’t call The Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox an idiot it is simply political correctness gone mad.
Correction: I would like to thank Botty McBotface (Twitter: @hqua) for correcting my earlier description of Liam Fox. He should correctly be referred to as “The Disgraced Former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox” and not as earlier reported “Liam Fox”. Apologies for this factual inaccuracy.
Let’s be honest the US has probably been doing these kind of influence operations in Russia for years. It has also had considerable success in planting friendly regimes through coups, election manipulation and killings in many countries in Central and Southern America such as Chile and El Salvador. Let us not also forget the links it kept with Marcos in the Philippines. So in many ways it seems only fair that it has now been targeted by what is a clearly highly effective operation. Indeed even we British have a “proud” tradition of dealing with democracy when we don’t like it, we just have those that oppose us massacred. Just ask the Indian government, although Prince Philip said it was probably not that many that were killed, so that is probably ok then. In the end through no country should be attempting to influence the will of the people in another country and thankfully India is now free of the terrible colonial rule that it suffered in the past.
While we all focus on the attacks on Trump, there are also a few other allegations which if true are interesting. Some are below.
Medvedev and Putin appear not to agree on everything, with Medvedev disagreeing with the idea that Russia should intervene in the democratic process in another country; especially the USA.
Russia apparently had some role in the Turkish coup, however it seems to be connected to one Putin aid only so far. If I were Erdogan I would be far more interested in looking out for Russian influence than some feared Gulen movement.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein allegedly received Russian support to attend a meeting in Moscow.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor also received funds to visit Moscow.
It’s also worth noting that many leading Brexit politicians in the UK have received Russian money to visit interesting places and even write nice articles about why the people of Crimea agree with the Russian invasion. I would urge anyone to go through the register of members interests of the UK Parliament and there you will find some interesting names associated to somewhat strange organisations. Let us not forget that Le Pen also received money from a Russian Bank in the form of loans to fund her party. The said bank is currently taking the FN to court for non-payment. Probably a smoke screen!
All these issues aside it can hardly be a surprise to anyone that Trump is perceived as a major asset to Russia. He will split Europe, split NATO and for that matter split the US Elite. I am now just awaiting more trouble for the Baltic states, coupled with no support from Trump.
France 24’s The 51 Percent presented by Annette Young carried the shocking story that in some French cities women are no-longer allowed to visit cafes (see the video above). The video shows that women cannot walk freely or indeed just go for a coffee and is as the program puts it, down to cultural differences. In reality it is down to areas predominantly following stricter versions of Islam. Now, I have worked and socialised with enough Muslims (of both genders) to know that this is not the way that many would have it. Indeed as the video shows it is the Muslim women who are railing against the rather ignorant men that they come across – good on them!
The kind of segregation on show in this video is precisely the reason why far right groups in Europe are gaining ground. We have had UKIP, their allies the BNP and many senior British Conservatives who used these kind of examples to encourage Brexit, when in reality Islam and Brexit are two totally different issues. We have AFD in Germany which has capitalised on the attacks on the women in Cologne and the recent terror attacks. Both unacceptable in their own right. While in France, Le Pen makes a big issue of these kind of matters. Let’s be honest Le Pen should be making a big issue about this kind of segregation as it is totally unacceptable. However, as we have seen in the UK such dog whistle, single issue politics only leads to votes going to the far right such as UKIP/BNP who use such issues to mask their own true colours and policies. This is a double whammy as the Front Nationale was never exactly an advocate of women’s rights, meanwhile UKIP, BNP and many British Conservatives have never supported equal pay for women and indeed have even said that allowing women to work has undermined society. While I am fairly sure that Marine Le Pen is probably not going to do herself out of a job just because she is a woman, it really remains to be seen how many of the party old guard actually like having a woman in charge. Furthermore, it should be noted that the views of many stricter and extreme Muslims is not in reality that far off many extreme conservative Christian groups. Indeed the Church of England has battled for years over the issue of the ordination of women and the Catholic Church is somewhat more lamentable on this subject.
In summary all this means that the extremist Islamic groups are winning, they are essentially getting parties like UKIP, The BNP, right-wing British Conservatives and FN into leading electoral positions which in turn will mean less rights for women or a best no more advances. There is just one flaw in the extremists argument in that they will now face a greater chance of kicked out of their respective countries but at least they will have left their values behind!
Charles Goerens MEP. Calling for UK Nationals to be Given EU Nationality.
MEPs are currently debating if UK nationals could be given or retain EU nationality after Brexit. The move proposed by Luxembourg MEP Charles Goerens would make it possible for EU nationality to live beyond state membership through an associate members programme. The plan seems sensible as it would help to allow those who already live in Europe to remain with full rights, this is especially important when dealing certain issues such as residency, movement within the EU (even just for a weekend holiday) and voting rights in EU elections. All of these are in stark contrast to the threat to deport EU nationals that Theresa May has proposed.
The proposal by Goerens would in effect elevate the moral superiority of the EU over the UK in terms of migration, human and political rights by in essence putting the European ideals above petty national politics. This is in stark contrast to the UK where the removal of human rights for UK and EU nationals has become a priority following Brexit. Indeed it has become part of the negotiation sphere with many Brexiters calling for the UK to revoke previously basic human rights in order to secure chips during the Brexit negotiations roulette game. It would also help the EU return to it’s founding ideas which were largely derived from a desire not repeat the mistakes of WW2 by embracing human rights, free trade and free movement of people.
The Goerens’s plan has of course received some criticism from Brexit supporters, in particular UK MP Andrew Bridgen who told The Guardian “It’s an attempt to create two classes of UK citizen and to subvert the referendum vote. The truth is that Brussels will try every trick in the book to stop us leaving.”. So not only are they content with playing the anti-immigration (read racism) card during the referendum to win but they also seem hell bent on destroying the lives of UK Nationals living in Europe. In essence again they offer nothing in terms of a way forward but seem hell bent on making threats against those who did not support Brexit, attempt to destroy their lives in an some cases even want them charged with treason for criticising Brexit. Bad winners if ever there were any!