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FRANCE’S “AFGHANISTAN”

FRANCE’S “AFGHANISTAN”

FRANCE’S “AFGHANISTAN” is the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa – the GREEN area in the above map. Then note also the enormous size of the RED striped areas marking Jihadists activity in the Sahel, in comparison to the previous hot spots of Iraq Yemen Somalia & Libya.
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“GLOBAL BRITAIN” struggles to materialise

“GLOBAL BRITAIN” struggles to materialise

The trade deals that the UK Government has so far concluded with non-EU countries, will not for many years compensate for the loss of European Markets. London believes that the principal advantage of Brexit, is that it will empower the UK to be more open to trade with the wider world.
To date the UK has signed some 22 trade agreements with 50 countries, accounting on current figures for approximately 8% of British exports. Negotiations are ongoing with a further 16 countries including Mexico, Turkey and Canada, which probably accounts for a further 7% of British exports.

Last year the EU was Britain’s largest trading partner by far, representing 43% of exports and 52% of imports of the UK as a whole. Moreover, unlike other main economic sectors, the financial services of the City of London have been excluded from the main UK-EU trade negotiations. The EU rejected UK’s proposals to include a detailed financial services chapter in any final trade deal.

That exclusion of financial services from current negotiations has left many banks and other firms to make their own plans. Many think “something will come along at the last minute”. But that ‘last minute’ is fast approaching.

Goldman Sachs said on Tuesday that it would set up a ‘hub’ in Paris to ensure it could continue to trade European equities, if there is no deal. In the event of no last-minute deal, the UK economy will struggle in 2021 to compensate for the loss of access to the EU market.

21 Nov 2020

HUNGARY AND POLAND VETO EU’S BUDGET AND COVID RECOVERY

HUNGARY AND POLAND VETO EU’S BUDGET AND COVID RECOVERY

The move by Budapest and Warsaw was hardly surprising. The two governments have been fighting a long and protracted battle with Brussels against the EU’s Rule of Law mechanism.

In April 2019 the EU Commission in Brussels in response to a wide-ranging debate amongst member states and especially following determined pressure from the EU Parliament, initiated action to strengthen the Rule of Law to uphold the fundamental rights and values of the EU. Something which the current governments in Budapest and Warsaw have been chipping away for several years much to the dismay of the majority of EU Member States.

Brussels is no stranger to serious disagreement between members whether it is about money or the fair distribution of refugees. In the end member states find a compromise.

This time it is clear there is little if any sympathy for Victor Orban the Hungarian right-wing populist prime minister, or the Polish string puller Jaroslav Kacryiski. The other 25 members are in no mood to compromise.

The mood of the EU Parliament is “that we owe it to the opposition and civil society in Hungary and Poland to insist that both countries adhere to the principles of the Rule of Law and the fundamental values of the EU”.

20 Nov 2020

NATO MAKES PEACE

NATO MAKES PEACE

‘Hats Off’ to NATO and its Secretary General for succeeding where the politicians and diplomats of Ankara and Athens have failed. NATO succeeded today in de-escalating a potentially dangerous conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean, where both Governments can only indulge in a barrage of jingoistic/ nationalist rhetoric.

NATO press release today says:
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BREXIT

BREXIT

IT’S THAT IRISH BORDER AGAIN!!

We have been here before, in October 2016 to be precise. My first scheduled lecture for the 2016/17 season was changed to BREXIT!!

That October for the first time I searched Google for a map of Northern Ireland!! Six months before neither I nor anyone else was very interested in Ulster, which what is the locals call Northern Ireland. But that October, the media in America and Europe was full of maps of that border between the Republic and Ulster, with many commentators turning their attention to the forgotten terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

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