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Only Nine Convictions for Facilitators of Small Boat Trafficking in 2021 – Despite Priti Patel’s Rhetoric

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 26/11/2021 - 1:00am in

Only Nine Convictions For Facilitators of Small Boat Trafficking in 2021Despite Priti Patel’s Rhetoric

New figures contradict the Home Secretary’s promise to clamp down on people smuggling, reports Sam Bright


As few as nine people have been convicted in the UK for offences relating to the facilitation of small boat crossings in 2021 – despite the Government’s ostensible push to clamp-down on traffickers transporting people across the Channel, Byline Times can reveal.

At least 27 individuals drowned in the Channel yesterday after embarking on the journey between France and the UK. The number of small boats crossing between the countries has increased markedly in recent months, with the Home Office reporting that more than 25,700 migrants have arrived in the UK via boat this year, compared to 8,469 last year.

As Andrew Levi reported for Byline Times earlier this week, the UK has a refugee population of below 200,000 – compared to more than 400,000 in France and 1.2 million in Germany. Indeed, France’s overall population is about 4% less than the UK’s, but its 2020 refugee population is more than three times bigger.

Yet, the subject of asylum has been of particular concern to the Home Secretary and the Government as a whole, which has taken a generally hostile stance towards migration – particularly from the EU.

Priti Patel used her speech at Conservative Party Conference in October to pledge that the Government is “going after” people smugglers – describing the rise in small boat crossings as “unsafe, unfair and unacceptable”.

However, so far, the Home Secretary’s rhetoric has not matched reality. A recent parliamentary question shows that only nine people have been convicted for facilitation offences relating to small boat crossings in 2021. In total, 17 small boat organised crime groups have also been dismantled since July 2020.

Britain’s RealMigrant Crisis
Andrew Levi

The number of convictions reported in the parliamentary question differ markedly from previous Home Office reporting.

Some statements from the Home Office have indicated that 65 convictions have been achieved this year in relation to small boat crossings. Just last week, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab stated that: “We’ve seen 19,000 crossings stopped this year alone, 65 convictions secured – the predatory criminal gangs that thrive on this miserable trade.”

However, a tweet from the Home Office in July 2021 suggested that there have been 65 convictions “since the start of 2020”. The tweet also said that these convictions were made against people found guilty of “small boats related offences” – covering a much broader and vaguer range of crimes than “facilitating offences related to small boat crossings”.

Byline Times approached the Home Office for clarification, and the department confirmed that 65 “small boat related prosecutions” had taken place “since the start of 2020”.

The UK has pledged to pay France £54 million to help with police surveillance and patrols during 2021-22, although the UK Government has itself stated that “not enough” is being done to hinder those transporting people across the Channel.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that 1,552 smugglers have been arrested in northern France and 44 smuggler networks dismantled since the start of the year – though 47,000 attempted Channel crossings to the UK have still taken place this year.

The Government is currently attempting to pass a new Nationality and Borders Bill that it hopes will further deter the smuggling of people in small boats. A maximum of life imprisonment for convicted people smugglers will be introduced under the proposed legislation.


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However, the legislation has also been criticised for effectively criminalising the act of seeking asylum. The bill proposes changes to the law to criminalise people who seek asylum on the basis of their mode of travel – only those who arrive directly from their country of origin through a refugee resettlement programme, or those who arrive in the UK via other legal means, may claim asylum. Others, who arrive in the UK through ‘illegal’ means, may be declared as inadmissible and be subject to removal.

As legal experts at the University of Oxford have highlighted, some of the provisions in the legislation defy the Refugee Convention, while others are already practices that are used by border authorities.

Indeed, aspects of the bill “seem unworkable but are clearly oriented towards sending a message – not to potential illegal migrants as is claimed by the Home Secretary – but to the public, who presumably are meant to lap up anything that sounds tough on asylum seekers,” the Oxford legal experts suggest.

Meanwhile, the Government has stalled on its commitments to create new ‘legal’ routes for asylum seekers – in particular for those fleeing conflict in Afghanistan. Three months after the fall of Kabul, the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is still not open to people seeking asylum in the UK – despite the Government promising to provide asylum to 5,000 vulnerable people in the first year, “and up to 20,000 in the coming years”.

Consequently, as The Times has reported, one of the asylum seekers attempting the perilous Channel crossing in recent days has been an Afghan soldier who previously worked with British military forces. He and his family said that they had “waited so long for help” from Britain but, faced with no other option, decided to attempt a journey that continues to claim dozens of lives.

“We are facing a global migration crisis, choreographed by organised crime groups who are profiteering from these deadly and unnecessary Channel crossings,” a Home Office spokesperson said. “The Government’s New Plan for Immigration will provide a long term solution to fix the broken system and deliver the change required to tackle criminal gangs and prevent further loss of life.”




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The post Only Nine Convictions for Facilitators of Small Boat Trafficking in 2021 – Despite Priti Patel’s Rhetoric appeared first on Byline Times.

France Is Freeing Fruit and Veg from Its Plastic Prison

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 23/11/2021 - 7:00pm in


Food, france

Stacks of wooden crates filled with bulging Savoy cabbages, thick sheathes of wild leek and bunches of loose-leaf lettuce line the front of Kilogramme. And it’s not because the morning’s delivery has just arrived.

Inside the Parisian grocery store, a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables are also in thin wooden boxes. At the back of the space, all kinds of pulses, beans and grains are stored in glass self-service dispensers. And on the shelves are rows of sauces and compotes in tins and jars. There isn’t a shred of plastic packaging in sight.

“Our objective was to have a space that offers food that is healthy for people but also healthy for the planet,” says Iris Herbomel, the owner of Kilogramme, a zero-waste grocery store in Paris’ northeastern 19th arrondissement. “For us, that means we shouldn’t be using unnecessary packaging. Who needs their bananas sold in a plastic bag?”

Kilogramme, which opened in 2018, is one of a growing number of grocery stores in the French capital attempting to tear up the traditional food supply system, which they see as seriously damaging to the environment, and create a model that is localized, artisanal and less wasteful.

“We are in a period of crisis,” adds Herbomel. “It’s a time when everyone wants to make an effort. We can’t just throw everything away. People are more engaged on this subject of the environment, much more aware of it.”

“Without packaging, food might even be cheaper. There are so many reasons to do it.” says Iris Herbomel, the owner of Kilogramme. Credit: Kilogramme

Soon, grocery stores and supermarkets across the whole of France could look more like Kilogramme. In October, the government announced that as of January 1, 2022, the use of plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables under 1.5 kilograms will be banned. Thirty types of fresh produce, from zucchini to eggplants, cauliflowers to radishes, and apples to kiwis will need to be on the shelves without plastic packaging.

The ramifications are considerable. Currently, 37 percent of fruits and vegetables in France are now sold in packaging, according to the French Ministry for Ecological Transition. Some 2.2 million metric tons of plastic packaging is used each year, and the recycling rate is just 27 percent. The government estimates the ban will mean that over a billion fewer units of plastic packaging will be used each year.

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Moïra Tourneur, lead for advocacy at the campaign group Zero Waste France, considers it “a good basic measure.” The creation of plastic packaging — from the extraction of raw materials, to the molding of packaging, the transportation and then eventual disposal, has a “very large impact on the environment, not only in terms of emissions but also on biodiversity,” she says. “Therefore the ban is very favorable. It’s visible for consumers and will impact the wider reduction of unnecessary waste.”

The rule comes with caveats, however. Stores will be given until June 30, 2026 to find alternative packaging solutions for fruits and vegetables that “present a significant risk of deterioration” such as raspberries. Critics are also concerned there aren’t yet any sanctions for manufacturers who continue to use plastic packaging.

Currently, 37 percent of fruits and vegetables in France are sold in packaging. Credit: Kilogramme

“There are an enormous number of exemptions,” says Tourneur. “Why do they need such a long time to prepare? This law has been discussed for years.”

Antoine Robichon, deputy director general of Citeo, a French non-profit created by the country’s mass consumption and distribution sector to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, says that despite the efforts, change will take time.

“It’s a very ambitious law,” he says. “But if you expect all plastics to disappear from supermarkets tomorrow — sachets, packets, bottles — you’ll be surprised. Plastic is a very unique material, it provides a hygiene protection, it is malleable and it is light. Finding a replacement isn’t easy.”

Every type of plastic packaging, from shrink wrap to yogurt pots, requires a different kind of plastic, according to Robichon, and alternatives could have an environmental cost themselves if not studied properly.

In France, 2.2 million metric tons of plastic packaging is used each year, and the recycling rate is just 27 percent. Photo: Kilogramme

“It’s just marketing if it doesn’t protect the products,” he says. “The transition will take time. It won’t change overnight. We must keep the goal of reducing plastic. But the substitutes we use must keep us on the same sustainable goal. We’re talking about mass consumption, not just a few shops.”

Nonetheless, France is the first country to set an objective of phasing out single-use plastic packaging. Under 2020’s anti-waste law for a circular economy, national targets for reduction, reuse and recycling — known as the 3R decree — are to be set every five years. For the period 2021-2025, the goals are to reduce single-use plastic packaging by 20 percent, to recycle 100 percent of single-use plastic packaging and entirely cease  “unnecessary” single-use plastic packaging such as those for batteries.

Other nations are following suit. In September, El País reported that the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition is drafting a decree that will ban grocers from selling produce that weighs less than 1.5 kilograms in plastic packaging by 2023. In India, many single-use plastics are set to be banned next year. And countries including Senegal, Rwanda and Colombia have already banned single-use plastic bags.

Stores will be given until 2026 to find alternative packaging solutions for fruits and vegetables that “present a significant risk of deterioration.” Photo: Kilogramme

Given those developments, Citeo’s Robichon admits public awareness about the impact of food packaging, both in France and across the globe, is higher than ever. A study by Citeo in December 2020 found that 23 percent of French consumers want little food packaging (up seven percentage points from 2018) and seven out of ten consumers say that packaging on fruit and vegetables does not encourage them to buy.

For Kilogramme’s owner Herbomel, that public support means there’s no need for French businesses to wait to transition. “It might take us more cleaning work if there’s no plastic packaging,” she says. “Employees might have to disinfect surfaces more. But without packaging, food might even be cheaper. There are so many reasons to do it. We will just need to be more organized.”

The post France Is Freeing Fruit and Veg from Its Plastic Prison appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Nuclear news

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/11/2021 - 9:08am in


Energy, france, UK

If we need nuclear for base load electricity then this three minutes on Channel 4 is well worth a watch. I confess I’ve always thought that smaller nuclear reactors were likely to be much better than vast developments like Hinkley Point where the complexity must be enormous. Smaller and modular are likely to be easier.... Read more

What Is France Hiding in the Sahel?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 10/11/2021 - 6:33am in

BAMAKO, MALI — On the 8th of October, Choguel Maïga, the prime minister of Mali, boldly informed the world that its former colonial power, France, was sponsoring terrorists in the country’s northern region. Standing before dozens of cameras and microphones, he provided details on how the French army had established an enclave in the northern town of Tidal and handed it over to well-known terrorist groups. The revelation was shocking not simply for the serious nature of the accusation but because in past times West African leaders have rarely sparred so openly with the French government. A chain of events simmering in the background for weeks triggered the latest spat.

On October 2nd, Britain’s BBC published an article with the headline “Mali’s plan for Russia mercenaries to replace French troops unsettles Sahel.” The embattled media outlet further claimed: “There is deep international concern over Mali’s discussions with the controversial Russian private military company, the Wagner Group.”

Scene after a terrorist attack in Gao, Mali, Nov. 13, 2018. | Wikimedia Commons

By now we all understand that whenever Western corporate media outlets utter the expression “international community,” they are referring simply to the U.S. and its European buddies, such as France. Case in point, in Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union, or at the headquarters of the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), there was absolutely no concern about Mali’s discussions with the Wagner Group. Even in Mali, the majority of citizens and political actors welcomed the possibility of the Russian security firm joining the fight against terrorist groups in the north. Why? Well, Malians believe the Wagner Group to be significantly more neutral than France, a country they accuse of having its own political and economic interests in the conflict.


L’habit ne fait pas le moine (the vestment doesn’t make the monk)

Anti-French protests have not been in short supply in Mali over the past few years, a sign of the citizens’ displeasure with the presence of foreign troops in their country. A segment of society has gone as far as describing the situation as an occupation. For this reason the only place of concern for replacing the French military with a Russian security firm was in Paris. But why? Why would the French government be worried about the possibility of the Wagner Group joining the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel? If France were indeed concerned about defeating these armed groups, then their government should have been happy to receive news that more hands will soon join the battle, especially those belonging to a military firm experienced in conducting anti-terror operations.

France instead threw a tantrum, tossing all of their toys out of their coats. French officials threatened to withdraw their troops from the region and cease providing aid to Mali’s armed forces. Florence Parly, France’s current Minister of the Armed Forces and a former member of the Socialist Party, arrogantly told reporters that her country will not “cohabit with Russian mercenaries.” Well, someone needs to tell the minister that in Africa guests don’t get to decide who they share the house with; only the host is reserved such rights.

It is not difficult to understand why France would react in such a manner. In my village on the banks of Africa’s longest river, the Zambezi, we say, “Only a witch is unsettled by the arrival of a witch-finder in the village.”

If I said I was surprised by France’s reaction, I would be lying. The average African is well aware that France’s so called fight against “terrorism” in the Sahel has nothing to do with protecting the lives of the people of the region but everything to do with protecting its interests. Those interests date back to the dark period when the region was ruled with an iron fist from Paris. Only naivety would permit someone to believe that the French government would fork out billions of francs and risk the lives of its citizens to protect the lives of Black people thousands of miles away.

France’s Minister of the Armed Forces,
Florence Parly. | Wikimedia Commons


Rights denied from Paris to Marseilles and beyond

If France is in love with Africans, why don’t they first express their affection to the French citizens of African descent? Twenty-one years into the new millennium, Black people living in France continue to be treated as second-class citizens. More often than not, these souls are compiled into squalid living conditions in the ghettos of Paris or Marseille, with little or no social services provided to them, and are subjected to racism and harassment by security agents for no reason other than not looking “French enough.” How about first assisting those Africans in Libya who are being held as slaves in torture hellholes run by armed bandits funded by the European Union?

What about France repaying Haiti for forcing the small Caribbean country to reimburse its former slaveholding settlers and their descendants following the Haitian revolution. That total amount was not repaid until 1947 and, in present-day value, amounts to over $28 billion, according to French economist Thomas Piketty, or upwards of $260 billion if a 3 percent annual interest rate were applied. In 2015, just prior to his trip to Haiti, the French president said, “When I come to Haiti, I will, for my part, settle the debt that we have.” Aides scurried to clarify that the debt in question was not monetary but “moral.” In the relationship between France and Haiti, however, neither debt has been settled.

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide insisted that France open talks with Haiti about repaying the money extorted from the country after its independence in 1804. Aristide was deposed in two separate coups (1991 and 2004). On both occasions he was forced into exile. |

As far as Mali is concerned, France will not play fair because Paris’s only concern is that the arrival of other actors in the African country will dilute its own influence and the monopoly French companies enjoy in the region. All other Africans and their descendants affected by the French colonial and neo-colonial project must fend for themselves.

France’s fit also shows the deeply ingrained colonial hangover it continues to suffer several decades after losing its colonies in West Africa. Paris arrogantly and abhorrently still views itself as the landlord and self-appointed sheriff of West Africa; therefore, any other party that wishes to venture into the region must seek its permission and blessings, a mentality that in the last five decades has led to a lot of bloodshed and atrocities committed by France’s stooges in its former colonies. These tragedies include the brutal murder of Pan-Africanist revolutionary heroes such as Thomas Sankara and other leaders who signed their death certificates by simply refusing to bow down at the throne of French imperialism.

“He who feeds you, controls you.” — Former President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. | Twitter @lord_tillah


A very troubled history in Africa

France’s role in overthrowing African leaders and replacing them with dictators, such as Gabon’s Omar Bongo, is well documented. This started with the first military intervention into Gabon in 1964, when French paratroopers flew in to help then-President Leon Mba to brutally crush an attempted overthrow by a group of young military officers. These soldiers had briefly seized power in response to growing public dissatisfaction with Mba’s leadership. During the next four decades, France would go on to directly or indirectly participate in the toppling or installing of governments in different African countries such as Niger, Chad, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others. Paris even deployed troops to Rwanda in 1994 as part of Operation Turquoise, which provided support to Hutu government forces during the genocide in the small African country. Once establishing a control zone, French military officials allowed Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines to broadcast from Gisenyi. One radio show encouraged “Hutu girls to wash yourselves and put on a good dress to welcome our French allies. The Tutsi girls are all dead, so you have your chance.”

The Flame of Hope burns at an official Kwibuka event. In Rwanda. Kwibuka means ‘to remember.’ It describes the annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The 2021 Kwibuka theme was to “Remember, Unite, Renew.” |

Successive French governments have often claimed that these interventions were done to maintain or stabilize democracy. However, if France’s past and current allies are anything to go by, this claim is outright laughable. The list of Paris’s choice of friends in Africa is littered with brutal and corrupt dictators such as Blaise Compaore (Burkina Faso), Mobutu Sese Seko (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Omar Bongo (Gabon), individuals who not only bled their country’s coffers dry but committed unimaginable human rights atrocities right under the nose, or with the explicit blessing, of the French government.

France’s two-faced foreign policy in West Africa was further exposed in February 1996, when Niger’s first democratically elected government was overthrown by the military. Instead of throwing its support behind ousted president Mahamane Ousmane, officials in Paris opted to watch from the sidelines despite having a military base in the country. Deciding to stand idly by was viewed as a nod of approval for the coup.

The same France that claims to be in Africa to ensure the “natives” can fully enjoy the benefits of Western democracy, on two occasions in the 1990s ordered its troops stationed in Gabon to join Omar Bongo’s troops to violently crush pro-democracy demonstrators. In this case, thousands had taken to the streets to protest against the results of a disputed election. Paris also continues to hobnob with autocrats such as Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has turned the country into a personal fiefdom that he has ruled with an iron fist since 1982.

As the self-appointed enforcer of democracy in Africa, France certainly has a strange choice of bedfellows. Going by the long list of Paris’s shady activities in the region, how can claims made by the government of Mali, that France is sponsoring and arming terrorist groups, effectively destabilizing the region, be dismissed? Instead of issuing threats, the best way the French government can clear its name is by being more transparent with its activities in the Sahel. Paris should also understand that regional and continental organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS are capable of dealing with the conflict in the Sahel.


Taking care of business

Despite the misgivings some outsiders might have against African organizations in resolving internal conflicts, the African Union Mission in Somalia has unequivocally demonstrated its capabilities against Al Shabaab. Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) standby forces — led by Rwanda, Botswana and South Africa — have produced even better results in battling insurgents in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region. These achievements have been made with less than 10 percent of the resources that Paris has spent in the Sahel conflict with absolutely no results to speak of.

It is long overdue that the world accepts the fact that Africans are capable of solving their own problems.



The situation in the Sahel region remains a source of concern and requires long-lasting solutions. Those solutions, however, must derive from the streets of Addis Ababa, Bamako, Nouakchott, N’Djamena and Dakar, not from the government corridors and suburbs of Paris or Brussels. The quarrel between Bamako and Paris should serve as an eye-opener to the latter, that the age of barking orders to  former colonies is over, fini.

France must now come to the realization that while the older generation of Africans might have been pliable to its machinations in the region, it is now dealing with a new generation of Africans, people unwilling to bow down passively to a former imperial power. It’s a generation that won’t allow the West or another power to choose their enemies or friends.

“Everything must change,” sang the late and legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela, in his hit song called “Change.” The time of change in how West Africa conducts its affairs has also come and, while the process of change can be painful and uncertain, it is inevitable.

Reexamining and recalibrating its foreign policy towards Africa is something that may not appeal to France right now but it’s something that must be done. It’s undeniable that there will always be a strong relationship between France and its former colonies and, while there is nothing wrong with this reality, the new relationship must be built on mutual respect, and not be that of master and servant.

A French Barkhane force soldier inspects a Caiman transport helicopter before going on a night mission in Gao, Mali, June 7, 2021. Jerome Delay | AP

Clinton Nzala is a Political Strategist and Analyst based in Zambia and has previously worked for the pan-Latin American news outlet, teleSUR.

The post What Is France Hiding in the Sahel? appeared first on MintPress News.

News Corp Leads Campaign To Rename The Macaron The ScoMo

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 04/11/2021 - 8:26am in

Scott Morrison’s team of cheer leaders at News Corp has launched a campaign to rename the fancy biscuit the Macaroon, the ScoMo.

”How dare French President Macron complain about our dear leader ScoMo’s lies,” said a News Corp Spokesperson. ”The French should be lucky that dear leader even took time out of his busy schedule to bother to lie to them at all.”

”Besides, Macarons have got nothing on the good old Milk Arrowroot.”

When asked why News Corp was seemingly acting as Prime Minister Morrison’s propaganda unit, the Spokesperson said: ”To quote dear leader, I reject the premise of your question.”

”Australia is lucky at the moment to have the best Government that money can buy.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to help our photo shop team in altering a picture to make it look like Emmanuel Macron was on the grassy knoll in 1963.”

Mark Williamson


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Labor In Talks With Macron About Replacing Albo

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/11/2021 - 7:00am in

The Australian Labor Party has sent a delegation of faceless men to Glasgow to talk to French President Emmanuel Macron about moving to Australia and replacing Opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

”Albo’s a great bloke don’t get me wrong and an amazing DJ,” said a Faceless Man. ”But, you know, he just doesn’t riel Scotty up the same way as Macron does.”

”I mean, did you see how angry it made The Daily Telegraph ,I heard they’ve had to hire 6 more photo shoppers.”

When asked why they felt that the French President would want to leave his job to become the Australian Opposition Leader, the Faceless man said: ”Macron is very competitive.”

”I mean I’m sure he’d love to wipe the smirk off ScoMo’s face on a daily basis.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta jet. Branches don’t stack themselves.”

Mark Williamson


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£515 Million-a-Week Hit in UK Exports to Top European Partners

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/11/2021 - 4:16am in

£515 Million-a-WeekHit in UK Exports to Top European Partners

New Government data shows rapidly falling trade with countries on the continent, reveals Sam Bright


The UK has seen a reduction in exports to our top European trading partners equivalent to £515 million a-week, new Government data reveals.

The Department for International Trade released new statistics on 29 October, tracking the UK’s exports and imports with countries around the world during the year from July 2020 to July 2021.

Total exports to some of the UK’s closest European trading partners fell by by £26.8 billion during this period, equivalent to £515 million a-week or £73.6 million a-day. Exports to Germany fell by £5.4 billion (10.2%), to the Netherlands by £1.4 billion (4%), France by £4.7 billion (13.4%), Switzerland by £9.8 billion (34.8%), Spain by £4.1 billion (23.6%), and Italy by £1.4 billion (8.7%).

As acknowledged by the Government, these figures cover various periods of social distancing restrictions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Trade has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown measures globally,” the statistics note. As of September 2021, UK GDP remained at 0.8% below its pre-pandemic level, though the economy grew by 5.5% in the second quarter of 2021 – exceeding expectations.

However, this period also coincides with the end of the Brexit transition period and the commencement of a new trading relationship between the UK and the EU – with mainland Britain leaving the single market and the customs union. During the EU referendum campaign, Vote Leave promised that the UK would save £350 million a-week in payments that it would otherwise have made to the EU’s budget. This claim was criticised as a “clear misuse of official statistics” by the UK Statistics Authority.

The Vote Leave claim also didn’t take into account the impact of decreased trade with the EU on the UK economy. Just last week, the chairman of the UK fiscal watchdog warned that Brexit would be twice as bad for the economy as the pandemic. Richard Hughes, chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility, noted that COVID-19 is expected to shrink the economy by 2%, while leaving the EU is likely to “reduce our long run GDP by around 4%”.

Taking Jobs or Creating Jobs?The Impact of Brexit on Wages
Jonathan Portes

Byline Times and Byline TV have already extensively catalogued the ways in which Brexit is damaging the domestic economy – reducing staff numbers and imposing new barriers to trade in sectors ranging from fishing to farming to drinking.

In contrast, the post-Brexit trade deals signed with the rest of the world are only expected to modestly grow the UK economy. The Government last year estimated that agreeing a new trade deal with New Zealand – ratified in late October – would have a “limited effect… in the long run” on GDP, anticipating that it may only grow the economy by as little as 0.01%.

Meanwhile, there seems little immediate prospect of the UK signing a free trade deal with the USA – one of the promised benefits of Brexit. And even if a deal is signed with Biden’s America, the benefits are expected to be limited. By its own estimates, the Government expects a USA free trade deal to boost UK GDP by up to 0.16% “over the long run”.

“There are two possible outcomes from the government’s current trade strategy, either we will replace this lost trade with more distant countries, massively increasing costs and emissions, or, as many experts predict, we will fail to replace the trade meaning less business, fewer jobs and lower incomes across the UK,” Naomi Smith, chief executive of internationalist campaign group Best for Britain told Byline Times.

“The way forward is clear, we need to rebuild trade with Europe by improving the Government’s threadbare deal which has left businesses floundering, our creative sector faltering and our country on course for a trade war with our largest trading partner.”

The Coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly limited the UK’s international trade – but this predicament certainly is not helped by Brexit.




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The post £515 Million-a-Week Hit in UK Exports to Top European Partners appeared first on Byline Times.

ScoMo Plans To Cook Coq Au Vin To Appease France

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 03/11/2021 - 2:00am in

Prime Minister for Sydney Scott Morrison has told his advisers to not worry about the country’s rift with France as he’ll solve it when he gets back to Australia by cooking a Coq Au Vin for the family and posting the pics on Facebook.

”A lot of these diplomats tend to panic too easily,” said the PM. ”Not sure why they are too concerned, it’s not like the people of France will be voting at the next election.”

”Besides, if the French get too uppity Rupert and his boys will get their editors and photo shoppers onto them.”

When asked why he was seemingly more focused on the next election rather than Australia’s standing with the rest of the World, the Prime Minister said: ”I reject the premise of your question.”

”Just have a look at my Facebook page, in the last year alone I’ve been to New York, England and cooked curries from both Sri Lanka and India.”

”Throw in my attempt at a Coq Au Vin and I think you’ll find that Australia has never had such a Worldly leader.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to call Engadine Maccas to see if the French really do call it a Royale with Cheese.”

Mark Williamson


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”I Don’t Even Speak French,” Says Australian PM When Accused Of Lying

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/11/2021 - 8:17am in

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied that he lied to France’s President Emmanuel Macron, saying that he doesn’t even speak French.

”I think my good mate Emmanuel might have got a bit of confused on our phone call,” said the Prime Minister. ”I don’t speak French, never have, never will, so when I was talking to him I was sure to talk slowly, loudly and repeat myself a lot.”

”Hindsight, maybe I should’ve used an interpreter.”

When it was pointed out to Prime Minister Morrison that Emmanuel Macron also speaks English, the PM said: ”I reject the premise of your question.”

”Why would the French President speak English, he’s French.”

”I mean I know in the past England and France have had their differences with a war here and there, but that’s all in the past.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to seek out Emmanuel and see if it’s true that in France that they call a Quarter Pounder a Royale With Cheese.”

Mark Williamson


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France Unleashes its Racist Demons

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 30/10/2021 - 4:07am in

Photo Credit: by macri roland/Shutterstock The most dangerous man in France today is Éric Zemmour. A best-selling author and far-right...

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