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Archive for the ‘Battle for Europe’ Category

Enter Captain Corbyn!

Posted by seumasach on September 27, 2018

Cailean Bochanan

27th September, 2018

The analogy coming forcibly to mind of late was of Britain as a ship adrift without a captain heading towards the rocks as the crew below indulged in an endless brawl, unaware of or indifferent to the grim fate awaiting them. But my spirits have been lifted by the Labour Party conference; could it be that someone has emerged who can put the ship of state back on course to somewhere that is not the abyss. In other words, can Corbyn finally end his highly ambiguous stance on Brexit and at the crucial moment come out for Remain.

Without of course stating anything of the kind, Corbyn has pointed to that as the only logical outcome. The bare facts are that there is a consensus now in the Labour Party that Labour will vote against any deal negotiated by Teresa May which doesn’t satisfy the criteria that Labour has set down and that Labour will oppose a no-deal Brexit. Well, no deal which could conceivably be negotiated by May could satisfy those criteria therefore Labour will vote down whatever she comes up with. That means that deal would fail to pass the Commons leaving us with a no-deal Brexit. Opposing this at any cost, Labour would then campaign for a referendum with the two options being: Remain or the deal negotiated by May. They would win support for this in the Commons and the country would vote by a clear majority for Remain.

This was the logical kernel of the fudge agreed upon at the LP conference. But it was a tiny island of logic in a sea of fudge. Truth-telling is political suicide in the contemporary world: everything must be approached obliquely, through dissimulation, through fudge. Labour haven’t actually come out for Remain. It has been tentatively suggested as an option; all options are on the table, therefore, Remain is on the table. It could even be on the ballot paper (how could it not be!) should it come, in extremis, to a second referendum.  

The main element of dissimulation is the claim that Labour prefer to have a General Election so that they can take on the Brexit negotiations, so that they can take on May’s hopeless conundrum. As if they hadn’t learnt the one clear lesson of the last two years: there is no such thing as a Soft Brexit! They must have worked out by now that the Soft Brexit scenario was merely an invention of the hard line brexiteers to help sell a Hard Brexit i.e. Brexit by lulling the people into a false sense of security and then blaming Europe for a Hard Brexit and the whole mess that would flow from it. Incidentally, why they would want a mess in the first instance is a very good question that, with a bit of luck, we will learn the answer to in the years ahead. Anyway, returning to Labour’s fudge, they’re professed aim of demanding a General Election provides a very good alibi in anticipation of  any accusations of being closet Remainers and helps smooth over divisions in the party between those with the perfectly achievable goal of Remain and those who insist on pursuing the impossible mirage of a benign Brexit, a Brexit for jobs, a Brexit for Ireland and other such nonsense.

I’m being a bit unfair. There is a benign Brexit option: the Norwegian option. This could come in handy if Labour are unlucky enough to win a General Election called, for some reason, by Teresa May. After all, it would be very difficult for them to call a referendum after reaching their heart’s desire of a chance to negotiate a “Brexit for jobs”. So they could leave the EU but remain in the single market, maintain free movement etc.. Only, they wouldn’t have any input into the EU project. That wouldn’t be the end of the world. The EU has developed quite nicely without our input: they’re already working with Russia and China to bypass US sanctions against Iran and uphold the Iran deal. Britain would just have to sit things out for a while in the sin bin, quarantined from a world that is passing us by. But the ship of state would still be afloat!

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Europe finally has an excuse to challenge the dollar

Posted by seumasach on September 26, 2018

“Creating “a defensible banking architecture” may well be the end goal for the Europeans, China and Russia, anyway. Iran is only a convenient pretext: the nuclear agreement is one of the few things that unite the EU, China and Russia against the U.S. But working to undermine the dollar’s global dominance isn’t ultimately about Iran at all. In his recent State of the European Union speech, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for strengthening the euro’s international role and moving away from traditional dollar invoicing in foreign trade. China and Russia have long sought the same thing, but it’s only with Europe, home of the world’s second biggest reserve currency, that they stand a chance of challenging American dominance.”

Bloomberg

25th September, 2018

With more and more European companies fleeing Iran following the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, it may be tempting for Americans to write off Europe’s efforts to save the Iran nuclear deal. It would be wiser to resist the temptation.

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The euro has the power to challenge the dollar

Posted by seumasach on September 13, 2018

Bloomberg

12th September, 2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker isn’t a nationalist populist, but he devoted his State of the European Union address on Wednesday to the defense of “European sovereignty.” This means, among other things, using the euro to challenge the U.S. dollar’s global dominance, particularly in an era of growing American unilateralism.

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It’s time for realism in EU-Russia ties: France’s Macron

Posted by seumasach on September 2, 2018

This looks like the decisive,long-awaited moment. Prompted by Trump, who seems intent on US withdrawal from Europe, the EU leadership knows that it must now look east. Rumours that Turkey is about to default on its debt could draw the EU closer to avoid heavy loses but negotiations would no longer be about Turkey joining the EU but, rather, the EU joining Turkey, Russia, Iran and , above all, China. The EU project becomes the Eurasian project.

Reuters

30th August, 2018

HELSINKI (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron urged the European Union on Thursday to modernize its post-Cold War ties with Russia and pursue “strategic relations” with Turkey as well as other close neighbors, including in defense matters.

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Putin’s wedding trip seals marriage of convenience with Merkel

Posted by seumasach on August 25, 2018

Pepe Escobar

Asia Times

25th August, 2018

It was supposed to be a low-key, traditional Austrian wedding until Vladimir Putin pulled up in a black limo. The bride was Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, a top energy analystand former professor at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and the European Business School in Frankfurt.

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Germany calls for global payment system independent of the US

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2018

Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge

In a stunning vote of “no confidence” in the US monopoly over global payment infrastructure, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US that would allow Brussels to be independent in its financial operations from Washington and as a means of rescuing the nuclear deal between Iran and the west.

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Donald Tusk calls on Europe, China, US​​ and Russia to ‘prevent global chaos’

Posted by seumasach on July 16, 2018

“We are all aware of the fact that the architecture of the world is changing before our very eyes and it is our common responsibility to make it change for the better,” he said on Monday at the opening of a summit between China and the EU in Beijing.

Driven forward by Trump’s bonfire of the institutions of the the post-war US-led system, Europe may be finally emerging as an independent force. A strategically autonomous EU is a crucial part of the multipolar jigsaw, a fact recognised by both Russia and China, contrary to the claims of the western media.

Guardian

16th July, 2018

European Council president Donald Tusk has called on Europe, China, the US and Russia to work together to avoid trade wars and “prevent conflict and chaos”.

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China, Germany relate their common interests

Posted by seumasach on May 27, 2018

Frank Sellers

The Duran

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Beijing this week gives us some important details about what is moving the cogs of her foreign diplomatic and trade relations agenda. Merkel has several reasons, both politically and economically to make this journey.

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Japan ambassador’s Brexit warning: there won’t be a deal better than the single market

Posted by seumasach on April 22, 2018

Guardian

22nd April, 2018

“We have 1,000 companies operating in the UK today funded by Japanese capital,” he says. “It accelerated after Margaret Thatcher promoted the UK as the ‘gateway to Europe’ for Japanese firms. The total Japanese investment to the EU’s 28 countries is of course huge, but out of 28 countries the UK alone now absorbs about 40% of total Japanese investment destined for the EU.” This account of a relationship that strengthened year after year – in a period during which the UK was in the EU – raises a very obvious question. Will it continue to thrive after we have left? He replies decisively. “One thing I can say for certain, based on fact, is that the companies operating today in the UK are not expanding their investment in the UK today.”

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Chinese ambassador to EU: No UK trade talks without a Brexit deal

Posted by seumasach on April 17, 2018

In other words, “global Britain” depends entirely on the UK’s relationship with the EU. This is a timely reminder by China after signs that “global Britain” actually means a desperate attempt by the UK to revive Western imperialism under it’s own leadership.

Politico

13th April, 2018

China’s envoy to the EU warned that planned trade talks between London and Beijing face “great uncertainties” if Britain fails to reach a trade deal with the EU beforehand. In his first media interview since becoming ambassador to the EU six months ago, Zhang Ming told POLITICO that EU-U.K. talks must be finalized prior to any detailed negotiations with China. “If there is not a Brexit deal, there won’t be things to talk about after that,” he said, adding, “If the EU and the U.K. fail to reach agreement in the first place, the U.K.’s agreements with other parties may have to face great uncertainties.”

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China, UK pledge co-operation as UK leaves EU

Posted by seumasach on December 17, 2017

The British government has wasted no time in informing China of its new relationship with the EU which will“replicate the status quo”. The stage is thus set for UK-China relations to take up where they left off in 2015 before the Brexit vote. The promised 750 million investment by the UK in Asia infrastructure may seem insignificant but it is the thought that counts. China holds hundreds of billions of pounds in UK guilts and can reinvest them in the UK to great mutual advantage: a classic win/win deal.

 

Kiro7

16th December, 2017

BEIJING (AP) – Britain and China pledged Saturday to promote London as a center for offshore use of Beijing’s currency and cooperate in clean energy research and promoting trade as the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union.

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