Post-Brexit Britain To Be Heavily Influenced By American Corporations
By TruePublica Editor: The article below written by Robert Stevens at wsws.org provides us with more evidence that a post-Brexit world for Britain will be heavily influenced by America.
Forbes recently wrote that “American investors should stay informed, as there are uncanny parallels between Brexit and President Trump’s “America First” doctrine.” This is shown in the political move to sever trade relationships with erstwhile trading partners – in Britain’s case with the EU. This suggests once again that far from being a democratic choice, Brexit was a desired outcome by a political elite who align themselves with corporate America more than they do with the welfare of their home country.
Boris Johnson, born in Upper East Side, in New York City, only relinquished his US passport last year in a decision that was clearly financially motivated – is heavily supported by US President Donald Trump along with his former advisor and right-wing poster boy – Steve Bannon.
Liam Fox, was a former UK chairman of Atlantic Bridge, a supposed charity, that was in fact, nothing more than a front for the movers and shakers of the right wing corporate elite. George Osborne, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and William Hague were all on its advisory council alongside Fox. The only goal for the so-called think tank was to tear down regulation and legislation in the public interest because it, as they say – “damages wealth creation.” – Its aim was to attack Britain with its toxic financialisation-of-everything ideology.
Jeremy Hunt, fiercely supportive of the current US administration, faced legal action after attempting to ‘Americanise’ the NHS is well known for his views on denationalising the NHS. With Theresa May stoking fears of an NHS “for sale” in a future trade deal with the US after she refused to say it would be excluded from talks and Trump confirming no deal will be done with Britain whilst it utilises EU safeguards, Britain is heading towards a no-deal Brexit to line it up with American trade policies.
Hard-right Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has considerable US financial interests with one client alone investing over $900 million in the company he set up. Johnson, Fox, Hunt and Rees-Mogg represent an unholy alliance who would clearly stand to make huge personal gains from a US/UK trade deal with deregulation at its heart.
By Robert Stevens – wsws.org: UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt completed a three-day visit to the United States Thursday.
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Hunt gave his first major foreign policy speech and met Trump administration officials, but also utilised the trip to deliver an unprecedented endorsement of Boris Johnson, who he replaced as foreign secretary, as a potential “great” replacement for beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa May.
With the Conservative Party and May’s cabinet split into irreconcilable pro- and anti-European Union (EU) factions, Hunt aligned himself with Johnson as the de facto leader of the Tories’ hard Brexit wing.
Asked his thoughts on Johnson by the Axios news website, Hunt said he would make a “great Prime Minister.” Johnson “has changed the course of British history through his campaigning for Brexit. I don’t agree with him on everything, but, you know, who knows for the future?”
Hunt’s comments echoed those of US President Donald Trump and his former adviser and strategist, Steve Bannon, who both effusively endorsed Johnson prior to arriving in the UK last month. In an interview with the pro-Brexit Sun newspaper attacking the European Union (EU), Trump stated, “We are cracking down right now on the European Union because they have not treated the United States fairly on trading,” adding that Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”
Bannon, who reportedly remains in regular communication with Johnson, later said he would be a “great Prime Minister, not [simply] a good one.”
Hunt told Axios of his own views compared to Johnson’s, “I don’t think that the substance is terribly different, particularly when it comes to relations with the US.”
In his speech to the US Institute for Peace, Hunt struck a hard-line pose, threatening the EU that, “One of the biggest threats to European unity would be a chaotic no-deal Brexit.
“Britain would, of course, find a way to prosper and we have faced many greater challenges in our history. But the risk of a messy divorce, as opposed to the friendship we seek, would be a fissure in relations between European allies that would take a generation to heal—a geostrategic error for Europe at an extremely vulnerable time in our history.”
Speaking at the United Nations Security Council Thursday, he emphasised that MPs would only accept a Brexit deal consistent with the “letter and spirit” of the 2016 referendum result to leave the EU.
For the hard Brexit faction, the future of May’s premiership is understood in terms of days and weeks—with Johnson’s leadership challenge gathering pace. Hunt is the second leading Brexiteer to endorse him, after the influential Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Though it is now being suggested that the timetable may be extended, the UK still has just eight weeks to conclude a deal with the EU on their future trading terms. Any agreement must be put to a vote in parliament in the autumn.
For May and her opponents alike, winning the support of the Trump administration for a US/UK trade deal is considered vital in pressuring the EU for a trade deal—including access to European markets. But the hard Brexit faction is more prepared for conflict with Brussels than May, who is more amenable to demands from the City of London to maintain tariff-free access to the Single European Market (SEM), on which the UK relies for 40 per cent of its trade.
Last month, Johnson resigned as foreign secretary, along with Brexit Minister David Davis, to protest the agreement May reached with her cabinet in July seeking continued access to the SEM. He is now in pole position for a leadership challenge expected as parliament returns from its summer recess in September.
After meeting Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and “other key figures in the US administration to discuss the foreign policy challenges we face together,” Hunt stressed, “the United States is our closest ally… Our discussions showed real enthusiasm from the US administration, from the President down, for a UK/US free trade agreement to be reached as soon as possible after we leave the EU, something that will benefit businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Hunt went as far as supporting Trump’s launching of trade war measures against the EU, stating, “I can’t justify why it is that the tariffs are different in one direction compared to the other given that both Europe and the US have similar standards of living.”
His US Institute For Peace speech mapped out the geopolitical imperatives of British imperialism, particularly in ramping up hostility to Russia and demanding support from the EU. He denounced Russia for flouting the “established rules of international conduct,” especially its backing of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, declaring that “Russia’s foreign policy under President Putin has made the world a more dangerous place.”
Hunt’s comments come amid escalating divisions between the US and its European rivals and he portrayed the UK as the most steadfast backer of Washington. He accused Moscow of attempting “to assassinate [Russian double agent] Sergei and [his daughter] Yulia Skripal,” adding that the UK asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russia are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US.”
Provocatively, Hunt declared, “The visible advantage that won NATO the Cold War was military capability. The invisible weapon was a rock-solid alliance of like-minded nations that sat behind it. Those shared values meant no opponent was ever in doubt about our red lines.”
An enormous amount is being invested in securing the support of a US president who Hunt declared, “has not been the isolationist president that many feared he would,” at a time when Trump’s equally reactionary opponents in the Democratic Party are stepping up every effort to remove him in pursuit of a yet-more aggressive stance against Russia and China.