In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘brexit’

Soros changes tune on EU

Posted by seumasach on January 23, 2017

and provides the key to understanding May’s enigmatic speech

Cailean Bochanan

23rd January, 2017

After triumphantly hailing the disintegration of the EU for so long, George Soros now admits to some “exaggeration” behind the claim. To cover his change of tack he claims that neither Russia nor China want the EU to disintegrate and therefore it won’t. This is disingenuous to say the least. Russia and China never wanted the EU to disintegrate. It was Soros himself and the forces he represents in Western elites who wanted it. Funnily enough his most emphatic forecast of Eurodoom came right after the Brexit vote which, according to him, rendered “the disintegration of the EU practically irreversible”. But now the EU is safe from the soothsayer’s curse.

Could this have anything to do with the election of Donald Trump? It has everything to do with it. Soros clearly anticipates the defection of the Americans from the Atlantic Alliance and now looks towards Europe to take on the mantle of his obsessive, compulsive anti-Russian policy. I hadn’t considered this possibility before because it seems such a long shot: Europe can only look east now. This explains the curious feature of May’s speech last week: its eurocentricity. The election of Trump has left the Brexit project of a fortified special relationship taking a step back from a collapsing EU in total disarray. May’s speech was, in fact, a corrective, a reorientation towards an EU which is now the last great hope for our values and, in her distinctly fuzzy, despairing vision, a bulwark against “authoritarian” Russia. So she was telling the truth after all when she said she didn’t want the EU to collapse. She is now doing what the Kippers (UKIP) suspected she would all along: talking hard Brexit whilst trying to work out some satisfactory accommodation behind the scenes.

This looks like a tall order and, anyway, hard Brexit talk costs political lives. The most obvious one is that of Jeremy Corbyn who has quite pointedly failed to walk through the open door of opposing Brexit and has become instead the enabler of Brexit by failing to join a cross party coalition amendment to article 50. But May herself is now set to trigger the disintegration of the UK, a process she is certain not to survive (as Soros himself charitably points out). What is more the inevitable emergence of an English nationalism as opposed to a UK nationalism will see splits in both the major parties. We may never know what Brexit was about but its unintended consequence will make themselves felt only too painfully in years of chaos and utter confusion. The home of farce is about to live the mother of all farces.

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Assessing China’s post-Brexit globalisation strategy

Posted by seumasach on July 21, 2016

“In other words, despite its advantages in financial services and language, the UK’s ability to attract foreign investment is likely to be substituted by other EU countries. Once the UK loses its access to other EU markets after leaving the EU, it will also give away its advantage as a Chinese investment hub in Europe. In the same vein, as London loses part of its share of financial operations related to the EU, other cities such as Paris and Frankfurt should increase their capabilities as financial centres, with each probably specialising in different issues.”

This study confirms the obvious: that the UK will sacrifice a beneficial relationship with China by withdrawing from the EU. The irony is that, contrary to the claims of the Leave Campaign, we have lost strategic autonomy by voting “leave” and now appear to be acting in accordance with US interests. On the other hand, our engagement with China may not have been in good faith from the start, being only the other side of the coin of our anti-Russian foreign policy and our attempt to obstruct the emergence of a Washington-Moscow axis. In this case, Brexit could be seen as a salutary corrective although one which exposes the pre-existing fragility of the British economy.


19th July, 2016

Read report

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UK should rethink China friendship over human rights

Posted by seumasach on June 27, 2016

After Brexit,  we haven’t had to wait long for the dumping of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with China to begin


Britain should reconsider its “golden” friendship with China as a result of the unprecedented human rights crisis unfolding under president Xi Jinping, Conservative party MPs will warn this week.

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The golden age of Sino-British relations has begun

Posted by seumasach on April 18, 2016


23rd November, 2016

China is afraid of a British exit from the European Union. Yu Jie (Cherry) claims that the historic Sino-British strategic partnership in the making is as much about money as it is about power, and hence its importance rests on the UK’s role in a united Europe. Beijing sees its cooperation with London as the foundation of a new world order where China plays a much greater role in international affairs.

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Could Brexit bring the end of the new Sino-British “special relationship”?

Posted by seumasach on April 18, 2016

“The Chinese government, for its part, clearly sees its relationship with Britain as being a linchpin to its relationship with the West more broadly. During President Xi Jinping’s high-profile state visit last October, he announced a new set of large Chinese investments in the British economy. But as I wrote at the time, China was not so much looking for a European friend in London so much as a Western friend that could serve as a link to the United States and the rest of Europe.”


17th March, 2016

As Britain prepares itself for the historic June 23 referendum on its membership of the European Union, an unexpected player has entered the debate: China. With Chinese businesses and the government now investing in big, lucrative projects in Britain, they’re clearly worried about the economic implications of Brexit. In recent weeks, Chinese officials and business leaders alike have become more vocal in their support for European unity (and, though they haven’t said it explicitly, for the “stay” campaign).


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Britain courts fate on Brexit with worst external deficit in history

Posted by seumasach on April 5, 2016

Arch-Eurosceptic Evans-Pritchard seems to have lost his nerve on Brexit. That a”No” vote is a vote for disaster is increasingly clear. However, a “Yes” vote in itself will not resolve Britain’s deep-seated problems. We await a positive programme for the reconstruction of British society and economy so far absent from the debate.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard


Britain’s current account deficit is the worst ever recorded in peace-time since the Bank of England started collecting records in 1772 under the reign of George III.

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Panama Papers: Hybrid war takes an unexpected turn

Posted by seumasach on April 5, 2016

The claimed US attack on the City is credible but not this conclusion:

“The biggest item on the British agenda is Brexit, and since the EU regulations on financial services are one of the biggest sticking points in the UK-EU negotiations, the revelations may make these negotiations so contentious as to strengthen the pro-Brexit lobby which will seek to escape EU’s scrutiny of London’s City.”

Without the “special relationship” there is little point in calling for Brexit since, at the same time as being excluded from Euro transactions and jeopardising the strategic partnership with China, the City would face takeover from Wall Street. This looks like lose/lose to me. Consolidating Oceania as a security block looks like an equally futile goal and would anyway be blown out of the water by a Trump victory. The British people left to their own devices may well vote for Brexit but look out for one or more “white swan” events to turn the tide in this campaign.

South Front

5th April, 2016

The “Panama Papers” affair has the unmistakable hallmarks of a net-centric hybrid war operation: a disparate group of apparently non-state actors, seemingly operating without central direction, carry out an information attack which just happens to dovetail nicely with US international policy objectives and not resulting in a black eye for any prominent US actors. Given the level of corruption of the US elite and the degree of offshoring engaged by US financial institutions, it seems all too fortuitous that the targeted firm did not do too much business with US clients, due to a variety of US laws which specific prohibit offshoring through Panamanian firms. It’s as if someone in the US decided to use Snowden’s act of civil disobedience and attempt to disguise a US information operation as a similar act by a civic-minded individual.

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Brexit!? France and Germany cannot wait

Posted by seumasach on March 1, 2016

This is essential background for understanding the EU referendum and particularly the rather surprising decision by Cameron to support a “Yes” vote despite having no opt-out on European banking regulations. But a “No” vote would be even worse from a City point of view as this article makes clear. Still, there will be winners and losers and clear and bitter divisions are emerging in the British  ruling class which we haven’t seen since the period following the “loss” of the USA in the American Civil War by way of the defeat of the Confederacy. That period of internecine warfare in the British elite was eventually resolved by the expedient of outsourcing the empire via a truly massive flow of capital into the USA. Similarly, today we face a historic transformation of the City of London although, this time,  based on massive capital inflows through our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with China and the new relationship with Europe which corresponds to it. The strong support for a “Yes” vote by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan suggests the possibility that London could also serve as a conduit to Wall Street for Chinese investment via those chosen vehicles.


19th February, 2016

If London decides to leave the European Union nobody in Europe will even notice. Great Britain is an entirely separate country, isolated from the European Union and does not participate in the Euro or Schengen Agreement. The European Union as a political platform is disintegrating and becoming more and more irrelevant and will be displaced by the European Monetary Union (EMU).
The center of power in Europe has shifted from the EU to the EMU and London politicians are fully aware of it. A Brexit will accelerate the process of political integration of the EMU members and make the EU politically less significant.

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US investment banks v. hedge funds in the fight over Brexit

Posted by seumasach on February 22, 2016

US investment banks are squaring up against hedge funds in the fight over a Brexit

Hargreaves Lansdown

21st January, 2016

Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are pouring cash into the campaign group fighting to keep Britain in Europe, ahead of a referendum on the issue that could come as soon as this summer.

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