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Behind the politeness and the parades of French President Emmanuel Macron's first official visit to the UK, there was plenty of grubby political horsetrading going on.

The crux of this is the forthcoming trade negotiations between the EU and the UK, with British Prime Minister Theresa May keen to get Macron on her side. In particular, May is worried about how the Brexit break-up is going to impact the UK's important financial sector, the so-called "City of London." This sector greatly benefits a very small number of people, but as many of them are important donors to May's Conservative Party, they cannot be ignored. Macron of course knows this and is keen to use it as leverage to gain benefits for France. 

May's narrative was that the City of London is good for everyone: 
"I  think the City of London will continue to be a major global financial centre. That is an advantage not just for the UK, it’s actually good for Europe and good for the global financial system."
But Macron wasn't buying this. Instead he pointed out that the City firms would get "less access" to Europe than they have now. Bu t the question is how much less.

With this on the table, Macron then produced several shit sandwiches for May to swallow: the UK has to agree to pay more, allow open borders to EU citizens, and take more migrants from the shanty towns that have sprouted up in the area around Calais at the southern end of the Channel Tunnel.
"If you want access to the single market, including financial services, be my guest." the French President said. "But you need to contribute to the budget and acknowledge European jurisdiction."
This is the so-called Norway-style arrangement, which includes free movement of people between a non-EU state and the EU.

The next shit sandwich to be served was a deal on the migrants, whom Macron is eager to dump on Britain in order to fend off the political threat from the Front National. 

Under the deal worked out, the UK is to take more migrants from France by relaxing the laws on chain migration and speeding up the evaluation period from months to days. 

This is an interesting change because even British citizens have great difficulty bringing in their foreign spouses or foreign born children at the moment, being required to demonstrate sufficient funds to support them for 5 years, as well as demonstrating their competency in English. 

Those migrants claiming to be fake refugees and with absolutely no connection with the UK will thus be allowed to bypass the UK's immigration requirements, and bring in people they claim are "relatives," most of whom will go straight on welfare. Asking them for "proof" that these are actual family members will not be required, as people from refugee countries can hardly be expected to have reliable documentation.

But May is more than happy to swallow these shit sandwiches and others -- i.e. militarily supporting a French neo-colonial military campaign in Mali -- because she knows that Macron has his hand on the balls of the City of London and is prepared to squeeze.

It would be cruel not to reunite these "child" migrants with their families.

1 comment

Afterthought said...

The deal is already done. Just recall who owns "The City"; they faced the prospect of real losses in their attempt to punish their racial enemy, the English Yeoman, and said "we will find other ways."

Brexit is happening, nothing will happen to "The City". All of the "drama" is so people don't catch on to what's really happening.

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