Tags: uk*

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  1. When in times past we have isolated ourselves from the Continent in the name of 'empire' or 'sovereignty,' we were soon sucked back in. This will inevitably happen again, given our power, trade, democratic values and sheer geography.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/...legislation-in-lifetime-a8134316.html
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-12-31)
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  2. The decision to enshrine exit day in the Withdrawal Bill confirms this profound strategic error. But in the end, the government will reverse its stance, or collapse. May and Davis may cause severe turbulence, but even they will work hard to ensure the planes still fly. Extension is the new frontline in the Brexit debate, and gathering momentum: the only means of ensuring a Brexit that does not burn down both our economy and Ireland’s. It is also the only way to stop this process altogether.

    So, as you read the stories of doom in the run-up to next month’s summit, stay calm. If the government does not sign a deal, it will not survive. And if push comes to shove, no deal likely means no Brexit.
    http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-s...llapse-retreat-only-options-1-5287271
    Tags: , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-11-29)
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  3. Hogan warned there was “blind faith” from some UK ministers that Britain would secure a comprehensive Brexit free trade deal. He warned that Ireland would “continue to play tough to the end” over its threat to veto trade talks until it had guarantees over the border.

    “If the UK or Northern Ireland remained in the EU customs union, or better still the single market, there would be no border issue,” he said. “That’s a very simple fact. I continue to be amazed at the blind faith that some in London place in theoretical future free trade agreements. First, the best possible FTA with the EU will fall far short of the benefits of being in the single market. This fact is simply not understood in the UK. Most real costs to cross-border business today are not tariffs – they are about standards, about customs procedures, about red tape. These are solved by the single market, but not in an FTA.”

    The Irish government wants a written guarantee that there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland, something Dublin believes can only be achieved, in effect, by keeping the region within the single market and customs union. However, the Democratic Unionist party, whose support is propping up May’s government, warned on Saturday it would never accept a post-Brexit deal that would effectively see a customs border pushed back to the Irish Sea. May has repeatedly made clear Britain will leave the single market and customs union.

    The Irish crisis came as Britain’s former EU ambassador, Sir Ivan Rogers, warned May’s Brexit strategy was “an accident waiting to happen”. Speaking after a speech at Hertford College, Oxford, he said completing the Brexit process was “guaranteed” to take a decade. He said that the prime minister’s unrealistic hopes of securing a bespoke trade deal meant a car crash in the next few months was “quite likely”.
    EU commissioner Phil Hogan
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    EU commissioner Phil Hogan. Photograph: Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images

    “The internal market is an extraordinarily complex international law construct that simply doesn’t work in a way that permits the type of options that the current government is pushing for,” he said. “So there is an accident waiting to happen ... and it is going to happen because the other side is going to put on a table a deal which looks broadly like a Canada or a Korea deal.

    “The only safe way to leave without enormous turbulence and trouble over a lengthy transitional period is to have a reasonable slope ... take your time and try and go for as smooth a glide path as possible from here to the mid-2020s. I can guarantee you that this is going to take a decade to do. We will not have reached a new equilibrium in British economics and politics until 2030.”

    Hogan warned Britain may struggle to keep the 59 trade deals it now has through the EU on the same terms. “The UK would be running to stand still,” he said. “When it comes to trying to negotiate new FTAs with the rest of the world, Britain will be pushed around the way the EU – with currently more than eight times the UK population – will never be.

    “The US have already started their attack on standards, so chlorine chicken and hormone beef for the British Sunday roast post-Brexit? India will insist on visas that the UK can never give. Australia and New Zealand are a long way away and of very limited economic interest. And any deal with China will be a one-way street in terms of costs and benefits for the UK.”

    Ministers are under mounting pressure to come clean over the extent of economic damage that a “no deal” outcome could cause to the economy. In the budget, Philip Hammond announced that the Office for Budget Responsibility revised downwards forecasts for UK growth over the next few years, mainly because of concerns of low productivity growth. But the OBR made clear that these downgrades were premised on a benign outcome to Brexit negotiations. Both the Treasury, privately, and leading independent economists recognise that actual growth will be considerably lower than the gloomy budget projections if the UK does not achieve most of its negotiating goals, or if there is a “no deal” result.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/...ssioner-brexit-chaos?CMP=share_btn_tw
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  4. Niente sesso, siamo inglesi. Nel senso che nel prossimo censimento nazionale, previsto per il 2021, non sarà più obbligatorio barrare la casella «maschio» o «femmina»: e questo per non urtare la sensibilità di persone transgender o che non si identificano in una scelta binaria. In un recente rapporto, l’Ufficio per le Statistiche Nazionali ha sostenuto che la richiesta di indicare il sesso era «irrilevante, inaccettabile o intrusiva, particolarmente nei confronti dei partecipanti trans»: dunque la domanda «non dovrebbe essere obbligatoria, a beneficio delle persone intersex o non-binarie che non sono in grado di scegliere tra maschio e femmina».

    Femministe in rivolta

    Ma la proposta ha suscitato la protesta delle femministe, che vi hanno visto un tentativo di eliminare la presenza femminile. La scrittrice Germaine Greer ha argomentato: «Sono stanca e nauseata da tutto questo. Continuiamo a sostenere che le donne hanno conquistato tutto quello che c’era da conquistare. Ma non hanno conquistato neppure il diritto a esistere». E l’attivista Stephanie Davies-Arai ha aggiunto: «Il sesso biologico delle donne viene cancellato e questo mi spaventa. Una volta che smetti di raccogliere informazioni, tutto si distorce per le donne».
    In effetti, col nuovo sistema non sarà più possibile sapere quante donne e uomini vivono in Gran Bretagna. Già la domanda sull’appartenenza religiosa è facoltativa e nello scorso censimento quattro milioni di persone non hanno risposto. Mentre rifiutarsi del tutto di compilare il questionario o dare informazioni false è considerato un reato.
    http://www.corriere.it/esteri/17_otto...316-ac16-11e7-b229-0974b7f57cc3.shtml
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-10-12)
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  5. Britain’s obesity epidemic is fuelling devastating numbers of amputations - almost all of which could have been prevented, experts have warned.

    Official figures show the number of cases have reached an all-time-high, with more than 8,500 procedures carried out last year as a result of diabetes.

    Nine in ten cases of the condition are type 2, which is linked to obesity and inactivity.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/...d-levels-amputations-official-figures
    Tags: , , , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-09-29)
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  6. At a press conference to mark the end of the latest round of talks, Mr Barnier said: “The UK wants to take back control, it wants to set its own standards and regulations, but it also wants to have these standards recognised automatically in the EU, that is what the UK position papers say. This is simply impossible: you cannot be outside the single market and shape its legal order.”

    One British position paper about data protection rules released last week suggested that the UK could still shape EU regulations after Brexit, and have its own regulations automatically recognised by the EU on a preferential basis.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wor...is-eu-doesnt-understand-a7921996.html
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-09-01)
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  7. Chi è davvero Ramadan Alobeidi? Quali implicazioni nell'infernale gioco di specchi libico porta con sé il coinvolgimento dei suoi figli nella strage? Negli archivi dei nostri apparati antiterrorismo, si documenta come l'uomo abbia 52 anni, natali tripolini e appartenenza alla tribù (gli Al Obeidi) di cui porta il cognome e che ha origini e radici nella Libia orientale, nell'area di Al Gubbah. Soprattutto, Ramadan nasce e vive da uomo d'armi. Nella Jamahiriya di Muhammar Gheddafi, è un sergente maggiore dell'esercito regolare, di rigida osservanza religiosa e ideologicamente affine ai gruppi islamisti che coltivano la silenziosa opposizione al regime. Nel 1991, lascia la Libia con la sua famiglia e trova riparo in Arabia Saudita, dove addestra i mujaheddin che combattono in Afghanistan contro il governo di Najibullah che i sovietici hanno lasciato alle loro spalle dopo aver abbandonato Kabul. E' un'esperienza cruciale nella vita di Ramadan. Se è vero che, nel 1992, dopo l'ingresso dei mujaheddin nella capitale afgana, lui si trasferisce in Inghilterra (a Londra prima, a Manchester, poi) per unirsi alle fila della diaspora islamista libica raccolta nel "Libyan Islamic Fighting Group" (LIFG).

    Il rientro in patria E' in questo contesto che lega con Abu Anas Al Libi, che come lui vive a Manchester, e che diventerà la mente delle stragi di Al Qaeda nelle ambasciate Usa di Kenya e Tanzania (1998). E' in questo contesto che allaccia legami con Abdelhakim Belhahj, ex mujaheddin in Afghanistan e vicino a Osama Bin Laden. Proprio quel Abdelhakim che lo convincerà, nel 2008, a fare rientro in Libia e a prendere parte alla guerra civile. Che, soprattutto, è punto di riferimento dei Fratelli Musulmani ed è destinato a diventare l'ago della bilancia, perché rappresentante delle milizie islamiste, nella faticosa e sanguinosa composizione del fragilissimo equilibrio del post-Gheddafi tra il generale Khalifa Belqasim Haftar e Fayez Al Serraj. Caduto Gheddafi, Ramadan Alobeidi entra nel partito Al Umma, il cui leader, Sami Al Saadi, è uno dei capi del "Libyan Fighting Group". Soprattutto si lega al gran Muftì Sadeq Al Ghariani (di cui è in compagnia nella foto che pubblichiamo in questa pagina ndr.), guida spirituale riconosciuta delle milizie islamiste radicali che fanno riferimento ad Abdelhakim Belhahj. Nel 2014 partecipa all'operazione con cui le milizie islamiste riconquistano l'aeroporto internazionale di Tripoli (Salman, suo figlio, arrivato da Manchester per combattere con la famiglia, viene ferito e sarà curato in Turchia) e fonti libiche gli attribuiscono un ruolo anche nella "Bengasi Defence Brigade", l'unità composta da islamisti radicali reduci da due dissolte formazioni combattenti: la "Katiba 17" (finanziata dal Qatar, ed entrata nella storia della rivolta con cui Bengasi si sollevò contro Gheddafi) e "Ansar Al Sharia". Un dettaglio non irrilevante, perché l'11 settembre del 2012, a Bengasi, furono proprio i miliziani di Ansar Al Sharia a dare l'assalto all'ambasciata americana a Bengasi durante il quale sarebbe morto l'ambasciatore Usa Chris Stevens.
    http://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2017/...cchi_degli_007_inglesi-166517235/?rss
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-05-29)
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  8. Dukes are the highest-ranking tier of the British aristocracy – a select elite within an elite, ranking above Marquesses, Earls, Barons and Viscounts, whose lands and titles derive from centuries of Royal patronage.

    There are 30 Dukes in the UK today. Five of these are ceremonial titles for members of the Royal family, conferring no wealth or estates. The one other Royal Duke who is a significant landowner is Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall, whose 135,000-acre estate I’ve written about elsewhere.

    The remaining 24 Dukes are all extremely wealthy men who together own around a million acres of land. Yet my investigations show that the taxpayer continues to subsidise them to the tune of £8million annually, through our broken farm subsidy system. What’s more, many of the Dukes benefit from tax breaks on their wealth and have constructed elaborate trust fund schemes to avoid inheritance taxes. How the Dukes have survived and prospered into the 21st century is a telling insight into modern English society.
    The Dukes’ landholdings and subsidies

    Britain’s Dukes are some of the largest private landowners in the country.
    https://whoownsengland.org/2017/05/08...tax-breaks-an-8million-annual-subsidy
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-05-09)
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  9. Leaders of Britain’s 27 EU partner countries have now thrown down the gauntlet: no discussions on a trade deal will take place until there’s progress on the UK’s divorce bill, the Ireland-UK border and the rights of EU citizens.

    We are told there is a document on the table relating to UK citizens living in Europe and those of citizens from other EU countries who live in Britain, but the UK is not prepared to sign. No reason has been given as to why.
    First EU response to article 50 takes tough line on transitional deal
    Read more

    The problem for our prime minister is that at every turn her head hits the hard wall of law and the role of the European court of justice (ECJ). Theresa May has cornered herself by insisting that the UK withdraw totally from the court and its decisions. Nobody explained to her that if you have cross-border rights and contracts you have to have cross-border law and regulations. And if you have cross-border law you have to have supranational courts to deal with disputes.

    Call it what you like, but in the end you need rules as to conduct, and arbiters for disagreement. Even the World Trade Organisation has a disputes court.

    For years the British public have been subjected to a barrage of tabloid mendacity suggesting that we are victims of an onslaught of foreign-invented law and interference by foreign courts. In fact, a vast amount of incredibly advantageous law has been created in the EU in the past 40 years. And here’s the rub: we have been major contributors to that law. The British are good at law. We have had a strong hand in the creation of EU law.

    The committee I chair in the House of Lords has heard overwhelming evidence about the benefits to business of being able, for instance, to secure a judgment in a British court against a recalcitrant debtor in Poland and know it will be enforced anywhere in the EU.

    A mother can secure a maintenance order against her children’s renegade father who has sloped off to continental Europe, and have the order enforced. A holiday accident in Spain can lead to swifter resolution and compensation by virtue of EU law. A British father can get access to his kids by order of a court in Munich. Cross-border relationships require cross-border law, and agreements on mutual enforcement are fundamental.
    The Guardian view on the May-Juncker dinner: one continent, not two galaxies
    Accounts of the Downing Street meeting between the PM and the commission president are certainly one-sided. But the two sides need to talk to each other more cooperatively
    Read more

    No wonder the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, is reported to have said Theresa May is on another galaxy in imagining she can retain the best bits of Europe without its institutions or legal underpinnings. Her fantasy that the “great repeal bill” will fix the problem by bringing EU law home, or that a deal can be done without the need for any European court, is unravelling. These legal arrangements require reciprocity. The courts of EU countries do things for us because we do likewise for them. A piece of unilateral legislation on our part does not secure that mutuality which is embodied in many regulations.

    Harmonising law across Europe has raised standards – to our advantage. Europe-wide law is integrated into our lives. In the “new order” of trade agreements with China and others, none of these safeguards will exist. My guess is that if May does secure a deal with the EU, we will find ourselves quietly signing up to a newly created court or tribunal, a lesser ECJ.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentis...l-trade-deal-another-galaxy?CMP=fb_gu
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2017-05-04)
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  10. A comparison of trading data for the Swedish krona and British pound may provide further evidence that some investors could be trading with knowledge of U.K. official statistics before they are published.

    Sweden and Britain, two European countries with widely traded currencies, have very different approaches when it comes to policy on who sees official economic data before it goes out.

    In Sweden, nobody outside the statistics office, not even the country’s prime minister, is allowed to see sensitive data before release, according to Statistics Sweden, the country’s official data provider. In Britain, over a hundred lawmakers, advisers and press officers get to see some numbers up to a day before it comes out.

    The British pound often moves sharply in the hour before data is released, but the krona shows no signs of moving ahead of Swedish numbers, an analysis of trading data between January 2011 and March 2017 suggests.

    During the hour before unexpectedly strong or weak U.K. data is made public, the pound moved 0.065% versus the dollar on average in the same direction it subsequently did after those numbers came out, according to an analysis prepared for The Wall Street Journal by Alexander Kurov, associate professor of finance at West Virginia University.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/are-u-k-...rrency-markets-suggest-yes-1493182801
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