The Truth About – ‘Taking Back Control’

17th July 2019 / United Kingdom
The Truth About - 'Taking Back Control'

By TruePublica: Even The Telegraph – an ardent and enthusiastic cheerleader for Brexit with its traditional right-wing stance and influence over conservative activists has had to admit that in post-Brexit Britain, taking back control means – taking orders. And it looks like Britain is falling into line as ordered.

 

After the debacle that saw a British diplomat resign due to the pricking of Donald Trump’s thin-skinned ego – his impetuous demands have just signalled through American trade negotiators that the next prime minister’s hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States rest on his willingness to fall in line with tough American policies against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Whitehall correspondence seen by The Sunday Telegraph reveals that British officials close to transatlantic trade talks believe allowing Huawei to ­provide equipment for new 5G mobile networks could be a deal-breaker. So that’s it. After years of talks and contract negotiations between British government officials with the telecoms giant – the will of America must be bowed to.

Also confirmed as a deal breaker is the unacceptably high price of trading with Trump that was laid bare as he declared that the NHS would be ‘on the table’ for a future trade deal. This is not the first time that Trump has demanded full access to Britain’s healthcare industry. The same has been said for agricultural goods.

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As Heidi Chow put it in a recent piece for Global Justice Now – “the threat to the NHS of a US trade deal would be through clauses that lock in existing levels of privatisation and prevent future governments from rolling back deregulation and privatisation in the NHS. This is not only dangerous for the future of our NHS as it entrenches privatisation but also undermines our democracy as future governments would be shackled by the binding provisions of a US trade deal.”

There you go again – Britain is being told what it can and can’t do for the benefit of its citizens by a foreign state.

The US negotiating objectives include demands for government regulatory reimbursement regimes’ to be ‘…nondiscriminatory and provide full market access for U.S. products’ In other words, a US trade deal could see an attack on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which assesses the clinical and cost-effectiveness of new medicines for the NHS and attempts to keep prices paid for by the public under control.

 

Dr. TJ Coles is an Associate Researcher at the Organisation for Propaganda Studies. He wrote extensively about the myth of a post-Brexit UK/US trade deal:

“So-called free trade deals, like the proposed, post-Brexit US-UK arrangement, are designed to maximize US corporate profits and privatize resources in other nations, including land, water, services, and intellectual property. They have less to do with trade and more to do with lowering standards in third countries so that US corporations can benefit from tax breaks, de-unionized labour and low import tariffs.

‘Free trade’ ideology has many weapons in its arsenal: secrecy over trade agreements, corporate media support in the run-up to implementation and bipartisan political endorsement. And most astonishing are the secret arbitration arrangements called Inter-State Dispute Settlements (ISDSs) which enable corporations to sue governments.”

 

The Office of the US Trade Representative makes it absolutely clear what it means to have a trade deal with America. Dr Coles explains that – “Governments put ISDS in place … to signal potential investors that the rule of law will be respected. In this case, ‘rule of law’ appears to mean the green light for corporations to do as they please, within fairly wide limits.”

 

ISDS – Legalised American Racketeering

The Washington-based ISDS was founded through the World Bank in 1965 as a court of arbitration for states and corporations. In reality, it’s an American run racket where the US can bully and sue whoever they see fit for maximum profit and not the other way round.

Brazenly, the Office of the US Trade Representative actually brags about this success – “Because of the safeguards in US agreements and because of the high standards of our legal system, foreign investors rarely pursue arbitration against the United States and have never been successful when they have done so … [W]e have never once lost an ISDS case’ (as of 2015). Not only this, but ‘in number of instances, panels have awarded the United States attorneys’ fees [sic] after the United States successfully defended frivolous or otherwise non-meritorious claims.

Manuel Pérez-Rocha at the US Institute for Policy Studies writes that ‘countries from Indonesia to Peru are facing investor-state suits. Mexico and Canada have lost or settled five each under [the US-led North American Free Trade Agreement] Nafta, paying hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

In 2012, Ecuador was ordered to pay just under $1.77 billion to a subsidiary of the Texas-based Occidental Petroleum for alleged contract cancellations. The case was annulled and Ecuador settled to pay just over $900 million. Venezuela was ordered to pay $1.6 billion to the Texas-based Exxon to compensate for oil nationalization. ‘Nearly 200 disputes are pending,’ says Pérez-Rocha.

This is the deal we are talking about. American corporations will be allowed to run roughshod over protection laws built up over decades, sue for loss of their own anticipated profits if protective government legislation stems the flow of revenue – and yet cannot be sued the other way round. It’s a one-way win-win deal for the USA and a lose-lose deal for the UK.

The current amount of trade between the UK and USA (both ways) adds up to about £275 billion annually. A fully signed trade deal between Britain and the USA has since been calculated to a rise in Britain’s GDP of just 0.2 per cent – and even that meagre sum will take as long as 15 years to be seen.

Dr Coles sums up what a US trade deal actually looks like – “Corporate globalization and the ‘free trade’ initiatives upon which it is based undermine democracy, healthcare and the environment. The 20th and 21st-century ISDS mechanism, designed to protect US corporate interests the way that ‘gunboats’ protected British colonial interests in the 19th century, is one such method. Democracy is undermined by the secrecy surrounding arbitration and the use of legalistic ‘gunboats’ to threaten our governments into submission.”

 

As if on queue and with echoes of Trump’s most recent deplorable attack of four Democratic congresswomen where all four are non-white and all except Omar were born US citizens. in which they called Trump’s remarks a “blatantly racist” attack on elected leaders, Boris Johnson has also landed in a new controversy for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west. Johnson makes the comment that “Muslim grievance” was a factor in virtually every conflict in the world.

This is the kind of politics we can expect in Britain from now on.

In reality, it appears that taking back control on October 31st means something entirely different to what the electorate voted for.

 

 

 

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