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Archive for the category “Economic Measures”

American Company (Harris Media) peddling dangerous propaganda in the recent elections in Kenya!

Privacy International Reported through their investigations that a Texas based Harris Media LLC, who made web-pages the “The Real Raila” and “Uhuru for Us”, which both targeted not only the National Super Alliance Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga, but also addressed deep issues with tribal affairs. Which a foreign entity should use as a tactic or even think about using in a political atmosphere. Where there has been violence because of tribal tensions as late as 2008. Clearly, there we’re international companies involved the 2017 elections, not only Harris Media, but also Cambridge Analytica, who both worked for the Jubilee Party and for Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Therefore, all of the companies that has been hired in, has mostly worked to benefit the cause of the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his party. The same did also OT Morpho, a french company delivering the KIEMS system to the IEBC.

So today revelation isn’t a new thing, but what is new is that they are directly using spiteful means to boost Kenyatta. This is devious and devilish to use the tactics that the pages of Harris Media did. Harris Media has represented Ted Cruz, Benjamin Nethanyahu and Rand Paul. They themselves call their methods: “We pride ourselves on creativity, innovation, and client service. We have a creative in-house team of graphic designers, web developers, and video editors. Our team has overseen multi-million dollar digital advertising budgets and will work with you to deliver the most targeted, innovative, and creative online strategy that fits with your goals. We believe every client deserves a unique digital strategy that is tailored with their specific needs in mind” (Harris Media, link: https://www.harrismediallc.com/our-work/).

Just to show what the Uhuru for Us is, let me take a few pieces:

On Facebook page 21st October it said this: “Kenya is a democratic nation where our citizens exercise their god given right to vote on who should lead our country. Raila Odinga is the greatest threat to our democracy!” (Uhuru for Us, 21.10.2017). On the 20th October 2017: “Exercise your right to vote and make your voices heard! They are trying to steal our democracy. They are even talking about splitting up Kenya and stealing our country. Ensure this doesn’t happen! Get all your friends fired up and ready to vote for Uhuru! He is the only leader who can keep Kenya growing, keep Kenya united, and keep Kenya peaceful!” (Uhuru for Us, 20.10.2017). On the 17th October 2017: “Do you believe in Uhuru’s peace as opposed to Raila’s violence? Do you believe in Uhuru’s progress as opposed to Raila’s backwardness? Do you believe in Uhuru’s unity as opposed to Raila’s divisiveness? If you are voting for peace, progress and unity with Uhuru pledge your vote today!” (Uhuru for Us, 17.10.2017).

This are some of what they did during the elections to sway people. Calling Raila evil and despicable things in favor of Kenyatta. The ironies into that is that Kenyatta has used the police and military, who actually killed numerous of people right before and during the campaigns. Even right before polls, there been big extra-judicial killings. Therefore, this campaigns are trying to target the opposition in a manner that they can question the ruling party.

That the Harris Media as a provider and a targeting campaigns are going this far in their propaganda shows the levels of little integrity. The American Media and Political Lobbying Firm are clearly using their methods to tarnish the opposition. They do it by all means and with no favors. There is no justification. Just spreading fear and more fear for the purpose of re-electing Kenyatta.

The elections this year has already been put in question and viably so. There is enough issues within the IEBC to start counting the doubts of a real counting of the votes on the 8th August and 26th October 2017. Harris Media and Cambridge Analytica worked really well to fix the message that Kenyatta wanted and to make Odinga look even worse.

Privacy International stated this about their work: “Three Harris Media staff, including Josh Canter, its vice president for content production, an account director, and a designer worked on The Real Raila site, authoring blog content, mostly republishing lightly-sourced characterisations of Odinga as a dangerous, racist xenophobe with promoting his tribe and family as his primary political aim. The Uhuru For Us Twitter account still appears linked to a Harris Media email address. Created in March 2017, its first follower was Kenyatta’s Digital Media Strategist” (Privacy International, 13.12.2017).

The American Business and Media Corporation was certainly peddling propaganda in favor of Kenyatta, that is shown just by one page on Facebook. Kenyatta paid these foreigners to serve his purpose, even if it created a more hostile environment. This also proves that American interests has been involved in keeping Kenyatta as a President. That is foreign interference from the United States in the Kenyan election. Certainly like they are looking into the involvement of Russians in their own, this would be the same sort of methods done in Kenya by them.

That Harris Media has been peddling this sort of content and put adverts in favor, that diminished the reputation of Odinga and his NASA. Shows that they we’re already invested in the Kenyan government and the current leadership, that is why they also got to hire certain companies to send their message. Kenyatta knew this all along, the same must been known by the American Ambassador Bob Godec. That has known about the communications done by Harris in favor of Kenyatta. Clearly, the Godec paradigm is to let Jubilee and Kenyatta continue to rule.

We can certainly question all of the American involvement as the Harris Media did their part in creating the separated nation as it was shown on the Jamhuri Day of 2017. This is as a results of the two previous presidential elections this year and non has ended well. The involvement of all of these companies should be litigated and be subpoenas to get intelligence on their direct involvement in the elections. Not that Kenyatta want to do that, because that weakens him even more. He is already fragile and not having the proper support anyway. He needed to cheat to win and that is proven. Peace.

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A Working Paper reveals the political stakes in the Kenya-Somali Illegal Sugar Trade!

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) have had a study into the border trade and sugar exports through Somalia into Kenya. How it is used and how it gets to the market. Clearly, the market for sugar is there in Kenya. As the Sugar Industry is struggling to deliver enough sugar and the state has embargoed imports. Still, the same actors and the same politicians are doing behind closed doors agreements that put the sugar in stores through the porous borders of the Kenyan-Somalian border.

The paper itself paint the picture very well and show the importance of the export, since the magnitude on both economies are affected by it. It is also implicating big names and their organizations. As the politicians has another black-market cartel item to sell to the public. What was striking was that the importers together with local merchants are repacking the sugar into bags of the State Owned Entity (SOE) of Mumias. The Company that has been saved the state after devastating corruption and also lacking investment into the mills. Therefore, the politicians has used this name to trade illegal sugar with name. That they even used the stickers to prove it was of Kenyan quality while selling it to the public.

The quotes I have taken, is what see as important. But its compelling to show the this illegal imports into Kenya affects the politicians and the economy in general. Take a look!

The Amount of Money:

Raw sugar accounts for 10% of total Somali imports rated at US $188 billion (Observatory of Economic Complexity 2016). In other words, sugar importing is enormously lucrative and important for the local economy on both sides of the border. The sugar imported from Somalia is central for covering the production and import deficit in Kenya. Most sugar enters through Kismayu port where it is manually loaded onto trucks and driven to the Kenyan border. There it is re-loaded onto other trucks, four-wheel drive vehicles and even donkey carts to cross the border on the so-called ‘rat routes’ that circumvent the border posts to avoid the payment of bribes, random checks by the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA), and the occasional confiscation. Based on interviews and observation JFJ estimates that 150,000 tons of illegal sugar entered Kenya from Kismayu in 2014 (JFJ 2015). This amounts to US $400 million worth of annual revenue divided between KDF, Al-Shabaab, local businessmen and politicians, as well as local police and border patrols, including the KRA (though this is not formal revenue) (JFJ 2015)” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 10, 2017).

KRA:

The investigator explained how his unit, in collaboration with the Kenyan Revenue Authorities (KRA) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), had planned the raid of a warehouse in an industrial area of Nairobi. They had found tons of processed Brazilian sugar allegedly smuggled into Kenya via Somalia, and it was now being repackaged from 50 kilo sacks into 500 gram and 1 kilo bags bearing the Kenyan brand Mumias Sugar and with added stickers from KEBS showing that the product meets Kenyan standards of production and quality. The repackaged sugar is – when not confiscated by the authorities – sold to retailers as refined Kenyan sugar at a huge profit. In 2014 a one kilo sugar bag sold for KES 133 in Nairobi supermarkets, and by May 2017 prices had gone up to KES 170 with some supermarkets rationing it to one package per customer” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 12, 2017).

Political Influence:

Like the former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, the Garissa governor Nathif Jama Adam, and the Garissa-born majority speaker of parliament Aden Duale are rumoured to be implicated in the sugar trade (Rawlence 2016: 236). These rumours reach all the way to Nairobi where they can be voiced more freely than in the north. The power of the people implicated by the rumours is more distant in Nairobi, whereas in the northern parts of Kenya the secrecy associated with the rumours points to the importance and power of those involved” (…) “With devolution, local government has become more powerful and more is at stake for locally elected officials due to their increased budget responsibilities and decision-making powers. Concomitantly, local government has become more vulnerable to pressures from local stakeholders like strong businessmen, militias and other state actors. The porous border, the circumvention of border patrols, and the implication of government officials ranging from KDF to KRA means that much of the sugar is not declared to Kenyan customs officials, making Garissa county one of the largest illicit markets in the country. The flow of goods across the border and further into Kenya formally falls under the responsibility of KRA and the national government. Yet the county government is responsible for local revenue collection and enforcement at local markets and car parks, and they also issue licenses for traders. In that sense the warehouses in the region fall under county administration. The latter thus plays an important role in the possibilities for the redistribution of smuggled goods” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 15, 18, 2017).

This here is evidence of cartels, illegal trade that is benefiting the political elites in Kenya and in Somalia. They are both having knowledge of it and its undermining the embargoes and also the activity itself. Since the politicians are the ones that has put in the provisions and the laws to stop imports to secure the local sugar industry.

This paper shows how much money that is involved. It is big business and the cartels are earning fortunes on lie, where they take foreign cheap sugar and trade it as Kenyan sugar with stickers of authenticity of KEBS. That is clearly a violation in itself, but combined with the illegal sugar, they are even using sophisticated methods to trade it to the public. To make the sugar seem like Kenya, when it isn’t.

That this money is shared by many different part of government officials was implicated int the trade from Kenya Defense Force Officials, Kenya Revenue Authority Officials, Border Patrol, Politicians and even Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabab. So the Kenyan are sending military to Somali to fight Al-Shabab, but at the same time giving them revenue with illegal sugar trade. That is a striking a fact considering the use of military to secure safety for Kenyans. Therefore, the cartels are also making sure the reason they are fighting inside Somalia are funded by the stakes into the illegal sugar industry. That should put some alarm bells on. That the politicians are playing with matches and should know that this cartel plus funding of Al-Shabab might hurt them in the long-run. Instead of being just a profitable business.

This is eye-opening and also a tale of corruption and sugar-cartels using the porous borders between the republics in favor of those dealing illegal sugar and selling it on the Kenyan market. Certainly, this sort of thing will implicate bigger names, than the ones mentioned in the paper. If investigated and looked through. You could certainly also find many bigger names who has created massive wealth within short amount of time. Peace.

Reference:

Rasmussen, Jacob – ‘SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA–SOMALIA BORDERLANDS’ (December 2017) – DIIS Working Paper 2017:11

Brexit: David Davis, the Secretary for Brexit is just making it harder for himself and his country!

David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and running the Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXEU) who is working for a sustainable and as good as possible agreement between United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU). Even as all the months has passed and the EU and UK came with a Joint Report last week, ending the Phase 1 of Negotiations. Still, that doesn’t seem enough for the Secretary Davis. Who has concurred differently apparently, as the EU and UK should be focused on ironing out more difference and making sure their status is good after the departure of Membership by the UK. Seemingly, Davis is more busy creating more havoc.

On a BBC Interview at the Andrew Marr show on the 10th December 2017, he answered this:

it’s been made clear by Number 10 already, so that’s not actually new. The second element about this is the other areas. Now look, one of the things we have had as a major objective, a major negotiating objective for the British government and we don’t normally lay our red lines out in public, that’s one of

the things I’ve always said, is we want to protect the peace process and we also want to protect Ireland from the impact of Brexit for them. So we – you know – this was a statement of intent more than anything else. It was much more a statement of intent than it was a legally enforceable thing” (BBC, Andrew Marr Show, 2017).

So he significantly downplayed the joint report that was fixed between UK and EU that was signed on the 8th December 2017. Therefore, it just took two days after signing and agreeing between the partners, before the one leaving downplayed the whole agreement between them.

The start of that agreement specify this:

This report is put forward with a view to the meeting of the European Council (Article 50) of 14-15 December 2017. Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail. This does not prejudge any adaptations that might be appropriate in case transitional arrangements were to be agreed in the second phase of the negotiations, and is without prejudice to discussions on the framework of the future relationship” (EU/UK, 2017).

Seemingly, the Secretary is not so good with details, since the Joint Report will be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement, meaning that the words and the specifics be a bit altered, but the reality is that the ideals of the Joint Report will be mirrored in the end. Therefore, the words of David Davis is reckless. Considering the commitments the United Kingdom has done by signing and agreeing on the Joint Report. Its like he brushing over the importance of ending Phase I to join the negotiations at Phase II.

That is why European Union are striking back at this towards Davis, who clearly doesn’t what his actions does to the Union they are leaving. This are joint resolutions that are attacking and addressing the misconceptions of Davis. First amendment made by the Joint MEPs which says:

Is of the opinion that the report allows for the negotiations to move on to the second phase and recommends that the European Council acts accordingly, but believes that negotiations must be connected in good faith and is or the opinion that negotiations can only progress during the second phase if the UK government also fully respect the commitments it made in the Joint Report and they are fully translated into the draft Withdrawal Agreement” (Joint Motion for Article 2 on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom, 2017).

So the MEPs of European Union in various parties are reacting with force and wanting the EU to sanction the words writing the Joint Report and take it seriously. But they have more important issue to amend:

Whereas comments made like those by David Davis calling the outcome of phase I of the negotiations a mere “statement of intent”, risk to undermine the good faith that has been built during the negotiations” (Joint Motion for Resolution on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom, 2017).

Clearly, the EU is not having it with this sort of foul play. They are not accepting any cheap trick concerning the withdrawal of UK. The EU MEPs and leaders who has written these motions to secure the developments are moving forward and with respect to the things already agreed upon. We can see that David Davis wasn’t acting wise, when he is trying to forge an agreement that fits both parties. Clearly, Davis are only thinking of his own career and not of how it makes him look elsewhere.

That Theresa May has something to answer for in Brussels later this week is clearly. When Phase II is coming and the secretary in charge from their negotiation team has made a mockery of the Phase I. He did it on BBC and on a live TV-show. Typical recklessness of the Brexiteers and their campaigns too. Just like they did with facts concerning the Brexit before the polls as well. Same thing, just more dire now, since the opposite party, the one they are leaving will not be so helpful if you disgrace them days ahead of negotiations.

However, Davis like to put some more gasoline on the fire and see how much it burns. At least that is how it looks like and with his previous actions as well. Instead of acting with some tact and some consideration. He is blatantly undermining the efforts done by both EU and UK. This could have been a good start for Phase II and the needed details before an agreement. Therefore, the reflection of the Joint Report shall and should naturally be a part of the Withdrawal Agreement. It is not just a mere statement, it is the pre-binding text for the coming agreement. Putting context and perspective on how the actual agreement will be. Peace.

Reference:

EU/UK – ‘Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union’ (08.12.2017)

Opinion: What will we leave behind to the next generation?

I wonder if our leaders of our time is considering their legacy and the aftermath of their decisions. Its like the constant breaking news, the steady flow of information and the reactions are more damage control, than actually policies for a sustainable future. Where the actions of today either creates more hostile environment or more fragile institutions for the next generation to gaze upon. Its like we should wonder, what we have to do. To be sure the kids of today, will have states and institutions that are considered good.

We can wonder if the states are built more for corporations and multi-national financial institutions and their needs over what the citizens need. We can wonder if the linear move of financial services is built for the multi-national corporation and their sophisticated tax evasions, which is legal, but still questionable by all parts of society. Because of citizens does so, they will be punished by late-taxes, while a corporation can create a shell-company and move the money like a saint.

We can really wonder what will be left behind, as the states are fragile, the military powers are extended and more countries are affected of violence and senseless killings. By both militants and by state sponsored armies. All of this are creating havoc and making the states weaker, while the injustice roam. Citizens are fleeing injustice and insecurity, trying to find shelter and a new home. While the riches nations are putting up higher walls, making it more dangerous to pass and making agreements on the borders. To stop them and even send them home into violence and possible death by association. This is all happening, day to day.

In many countries it is dangerous to be opposition. If you oppose the ruling regime, you will be arbitrary arrested, your family will be monitored and you might be assassinated. Your business will be taken over or destroyed. The elections are rigged and the appointments made by the elected officials are obnoxious. They are made for facilitating the parties and their cronies. Not to build institutions or departments to deliver services to the citizens, but instead its used for cronies of the leadership of the day.

So it seems like tomorrow is forgotten, because the latest burning fire is more important that thinking about the future. If we could avoid it or even try to find solutions to avoid fires. Stop the dry forests, find out why the temperatures are arising and all the other issues for the running fires. It has to be stopped. The reasons for the businesses has the ability to take out profits where they initially earn it and put it into accounts in Tax Havens. That takes away needed funds and state reserves to secure delivery of needed functions of the state. Which all costs from planning to delivering, from salaries to procurement. Everything has to be covered by the taxes and the revenue made within the state, therefore, when the corporations are allowed to move profits without taxes. They are initially using the state and citizens, while also shelving the needed costs of actually doing business in the state. Even if it is profitable today, it might be more costly tomorrow. As the bankrupt states, the initial degree of defaulting on loans and the interests pay by the state. Take away even more services and possible development of the needed ministries and departments by the state. It is an evil circle, which in the end, make it impossible for the businesses to do business, since the public cannot afford and the state cannot afford either. Since they are all paying down loans, instead of growing the economy with need for the products these businesses make.

If the leadership of today had cared and had thought it through. They would have had more mechanisms, would have had more secured definitions and actually built institutions with protocols to fix possibly tomorrows problems. Instead, we are trying to configure and find solutions again and again. We are trying again to fix similar problems, with lacking funds and times. We are having meager responses and lack luster performances. Where we are building up personality cults and armed generals as leaders, while forgetting why we have governments. The governments that are there as representatives and providers for our day to day lives.

Still, that vision is far fetched and also seems like pipe-dream. Where the states are more and more complying to multi-national corporations and their interests over the needs of the citizens. If not they are complying to the leadership or one single leader who control the state itself. The democratic values are dying, the benefit of representation is dwindling and the face-value of the government. The government is losing value, while the ones leading them is enriching themselves instead of serving the citizens. They are doing this, this way since they are obliging the corporations and cronies instead of serving them.

Is this the legacy we want to leave to the next generation? Is this the state of affairs, we want to be remembered for? That we let them take us and use us for our time and when we lived. That we didn’t build a better tomorrow for us the citizens, but to make sure the leaders and the corporations earned on our hard work and dedication. Its clearly somebody is compensated, while the rest is bleeding.

While we’re wounded and taken for granted. Should we react, should we question and should find ways to demonstrate our discontent with the current affair. As our state mind cannot accept being taken for granted and being used in the favors of people we don’t know and doesn’t represent us anyway.

We should about this and wonder, how can we recover and make they do? What can we do as citizens to get this back? Get them to represent us instead of them. Be for us and work for us and not work for them. Neither work for the corporations or the cronies, but work for us. That is not to much to ask for, but it wouldn’t be easy.

We have to work together and dismantle this. Because the governments cannot be traded-off and we be used only to vote before every term and then left astray. We cannot accept that the illegitimacy of the current state. With leaders disrespecting both their citizens and the state institutions to stay in power. That is how it is, but not how it should be.

I don’t have any solutions, but we have to start discussions and consider our ways. Think and find ways out of this mess. So we can leave a better world for the next generation. Not leave a world with leaders and states, where the citizens are disenfranchised and lost with few options. Where the corporations together with multi-national organizations are taken control, instead of the governments. That is not how its supposed to be with the civil service and the ministries/departments of our states.

We need change, we need something else. We shall not and should not accept to deliver this mess to the next generation. They never asked for this and should not have to work against it. We should deliver are better world to them and not leave a battlefield and a turmoil, while hoping we have given them the work ethic and the skills overcome it. Peace.

Brexit: Key quotes from the Joint Report made by EU and UK yesterday!

Yesterday, the Brexit negotiations made some progress finally. The negotiations between European Union and United Kingdom, as United Kingdom are leaving the Union during the year of 2019. As that is happening, there are needed for agreements and deals to secure movement and trade between the continent and the island kingdom. That will not happen automatically, but has to happen with agreements between them. Therefore, after lots of months with no key movement. Yesterday it was finally something real that was delivered between them. Not that it has solved much, but it shows progress and need for continued presence of consultations to find solutions for the parties.

Union citizens who in accordance with Union law legally reside in the UK, and UK nationals who in accordance with Union law legally reside in an EU27 Member State by the specified date, as well as their family members as defined by Directive 2004/38/EC who are legally resident in the host State by the specified date, fall within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement (for personal scope related to frontier workers, see paragraph 15, and for social security, see paragraph 28)” (EU/UK, P: 3, 2017).

This should at least give rest to all citizens if they are British or European, that their rights within United Kingdom is not revoked and he same with UK in the EU. This gives a leeway to the citizens of both EU and UK. They are safe and sound. There will not be a problem between them after UK leaves.

In the absence of agreed solutions, as set out in the previous paragraph, the United Kingdom will ensure that no new regulatory barriers develop between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, unless, consistent with the 1998 Agreement, the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly agree that distinct arrangements are appropriate for Northern Ireland. In all circumstances, the United Kingdom will continue to ensure the same unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the United Kingdom internal market” (…) “Both Parties will establish mechanisms to ensure the implementation and oversight of any specific arrangement to safeguard the integrity of the EU Internal Market and the Customs Union” (EU/UK, P: 8, 2017).

The Irish question that was stopped by a phone-call earlier this month shows how hard it was settle this text. Since the European Union, Irish Republic and the United Kingdom had to be collectively together on the agreement, that fits the paradigm of all parties. If it was the UK, Irish and the EU. That the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have secured their place, but at the same time. The Irish have made sure to make no troubles on the borders for now. This has been hectic for the Tories and United Kingdom. While the EU have followed the wishes of the Irish, since they are a Member State.

On ensuring continuity in the availability of goods placed on the market under Union law before withdrawal both Parties recognise the need to provide legal certainty and minimise disruption to business and consumers. Both Parties have agreed the principles that the goods placed on the market under Union law before withdrawal may freely circulate on the markets of the UK and the Union with no need for product modifications or re-labelling; be put into service where provided in Union law, and that the goods concerned should be subject to continued oversight” (EU/UK, P: 14, 2017)

Therefore, the United Kingdom, will even as they are leaving making sure they are following EU Law on Consumer and Trade, as they want to be sure that all markets and products still are on the shelves as they leave. This means, that the UK still will follow procedure and regulations from Brussels concerning corporations and labeling, all sort of economic activity. Since they will have to do this, to be sure to have imports and exports of all kind. If it is financial services or products themselves will be made sure to be there, even after the UK left the Union.

The ones that believed it would be striking difference between the UK outside of the EU and the ones inside. Are mistaken, especially when considering the first joint report delivered the public yesterday. Its more of the same, but some minor changes. When it comes to trading right now, they still have to comply to Brussels.

I didn’t look into so much the Financial Dispute, since that is already been discussed in the media and been into, as it is natural while ending a genuine partnership and membership, that you pay the obligations and the agreed upon years within institutions that has been built while being apart of the Union itself. Therefore, the texts there wasn’t that interesting. It was more significant, that the Market Place has to comply with Brussels. That Irish got their wish on the border, even if it not 100% Official, as it is still not binding agreement. It still shows how much the UK has given and how little they have gained with the meetings with the EU. Peace.

Reference:

EU/UK – ‘Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union’ (08.12.2017)

Bears Ears National Monument: Energy Fuels Letter to U.S. Department of the Interior – ” Re: Review of Certain National Monuments, Federal Register Notice of May 11, 2017″ (25.05.2017)

Brexit: Lords Report shows dire consequences of a “No Deal”!

If you ever will believe the narrative of the Conservative Party and the leadership around Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Davis. Then you might believe there will be no consequences if the United Kingdom leave the European Union without any agreement. That means all the previous ones will cease and the third state of United Kingdom. Will loose all direct connections and also hurt all sort of movements between UK and European Member States and the Schengen Countries. This will hurt businesses, exports and also direct movement between UK and the EU. I will take the quotes that are showing the most concern from the House of Lords. The words from there is not my own, but from the Lords themselves and what they have collected. Take a look!

The Loan Market Association pointed out that the loss of the Capital Requirements Directive passport would have a major impact on lending and loan market activities conducted by banks. A sudden withdrawal of passporting rights could affect both the enforceability of existing loan agreements and the ability and willingness by UK-based lenders to enter into future agreements” (…) “Lloyd’s predicted that the transfer of personal data from the EU to the UK would also be more difficult for UK firms doing business in the EEA. London based firms would therefore have to establish EEA subsidiaries or cease to write EEA insurance” (House of Lords, P: 11, 2017).

The Fresh Produce Consortium noted that the Port of Dover handled 600 lorries per day transporting fresh produce. In 2016, the UK imported 3 million tonnes of fresh produce from other EU Member States. Many suppliers dealing solely in EU imports have no experience of meeting customs requirements, and registration as an Authorised Economic Operator would not be feasible for most small importers” (…) “The British Retail Consortium warned that the average tariff on food products imported from the EU would be 22%, with tariffs on Irish cheddar of 44% and on beef of 40%. Its research pointed to potential rises in the price of cheese in the order of 6–32%, on tomatoes of 9–18%, and on beef of 5–29%. Nontariff barriers would be burdensome in relation to customs checks, and health or veterinary checks stemming from sanitary and phytosanitary requirements” (House of Lords, P: 12, 2017).

The Institute for Government noted that, in order to prepare the border for ‘no deal’, change would be needed across 30 Government departments and public bodies, as well as more than 100 local authority organisations. Private sector port operators, freight forwarders and shipping lines would need to adapt

their infrastructure, paperwork and logistics. France, The Netherlands and Ireland would also need to plan for disruption at their ports. Operation Stack demonstrated how delays at Calais have a knock-on effect in Dover” (…) “The BRC pointed out that up to 180,000 UK companies would be drawn into customs declarations for the first time. Companies would have to operate new excise and VAT systems for compliance purposes” (House of Lords, P: 14, 2017).

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted that there was no WTO ‘fail safe’ for the aviation sector: “The ultimate danger is that without a deal, flights from the UK and to the EU and other parts of the world will be grounded on exit day … And without an early deal—meaning clarity for airports, airlines and travellers as soon as possible in 2018—the uncertainty around what might happen will begin to weigh on the decision making of those considering travel.” (House of Lords, P: 15, 2017).

The Russell Group concluded that no deal would affect universities’ ability to deliver world-leading research and education. No deal on the rights of EU citizens to live, study and work in the UK could lead to a loss of talented researchers and technicians with specialist skills who could not be replaced easily by UK nationals. If the UK and EU did not secure an agreement on science and research collaboration, UK institutions would cease to be eligible for Horizon 2020 funding on the day of exit. This would mean funding for existing projects would be withdrawn and researchers would immediately lose the ability to bid for this funding, with a detrimental impact on international competitiveness” (House of Lords, P: 16, 2017).

The Institute for Government observed that “if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, it will not be possible to put in place any agreed arrangements to manage the border in Ireland. The UK could (possibly) decide to turn a blind eye. But the land border will represent the external frontier of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union and it is hard to envisage how they would manage that without some sort of controls in place.” (House of Lords, P: 17, 2017).

A complete ‘no deal’ outcome would be deeply damaging for the UK. It would bring UK-EU cooperation on matters vital to the national interest, such as counter-terrorism, police, justice and security matters, nuclear safeguards, data exchange and aviation, to a sudden halt. It would place the status of UK nationals in the EU, and EU nationals in the UK, in jeopardy, and would necessarily lead to the imposition of controls at the Irish land border” (House of Lords, P: 44, 2017).

The Conservative Party after this report is released cannot say the “No Deal” is a good deal, since the effect on their own and the business community is damaging. The movement between the UK and the EU will be hurt. It is just a matter of how hard and how strained the sudden change between the UK and EU occur.

The words of the report is showing just brief reflections of how a non-deal would effect the UK. Therefore, the Tories should do whatever they can to let the negotiations go smooth and make sure the separation goes well for all parties. That the borders between Ireland and European Union is not put on hold, but actually have tariffs and have regulations for movement after they left. If it is for the movement of the people or imports/exports of services and products. We can clearly see by the information collected into the House of Lords Report. That the “No Deal”, will make certain industry suffer and make the transition ever more costly for business, which will also hurt the people who has to pay more for their services/products.

If the Conservative Party still pounds and says that a “No Deal” is still okay. Then they are not looking into or not telling the truth about the implications of that. The Tories better come clean try to work against the clock for the betterment of their citizens. They have a mission to secure their citizens and their future on the outside of EU. No matter what that is, the UK has to make sure the provisions and regulations are put in place, so people and businesses can work under new agreement between EU and the UK. Peace.

Reference:

House of Lords – European Union Committee – ‘Brexit: deal or no deal’ (07.12.2017)

Brexit: Joint Letter from Arlene Foster and Martin McGuiness to PM Theresa May on the Irish Question (10.08.2016)

Addressing humanitarian needs, alongside long-term investment in development, vital to tackling Somalia’s fragility (04.12.2017)

In 2017, over $1.2 billion has been mobilized enabling humanitarians to avert a famine but the causes of Somalia’s fragility remain.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, December 4, 2017 – The Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq has welcomed the State of Qatar’s commitment to partner with Somalia amid growing calls for a new approach where sustained humanitarian action is complemented by long-term efforts to build the country’s resilience. Mr. de Clercq was addressing participants at the workshop for Qatar Humanitarian and Development partners on the Somalia Resilience and Recovery Framework held in Mogadishu on 2 December 2017.

Over the past decades Somalia has faced a vicious cycle of recurring droughts and protracted conflict that have led to loss of lives, caused mass displacement, and put the lives of millions of Somalis in peril and dependent on life-saving assistance. Since 2011, with the generous contribution by international partners, approximately USD 4.5 billion has been spent on the emergency response alone. In 2017, over $1.2 billion has been mobilized enabling humanitarians to avert a famine but the causes of Somalia’s fragility remain.

“I am encouraged to see the Government initiating discussions to forge a way forward on how to strengthen the structural resilience of Somalia to prevent future humanitarian disasters that undermine the country’s path to recovery and reconstruction,” said Mr. de Clercq. “Effective and collective drought response has so far prevented famine in 2017, but much more is needed to trigger long-term resilience and development, and protect fragile progress and achievements. We cannot continue to wait until the current crisis is over before we embark on promoting long-term solutions. We can help address the drivers of fragility and insecurity if we collectively act now.”

The Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Gamal M. Hassan, thanked the State of Qatar which recently signed a development agreement with the Federal Government of Somalia worth $200M for infrastructure development including support for education and youth employment initiatives. “The impact of the recurrent climatic shocks continues to disrupt our development vision, hence the need for preventative measures and sustainable solutions that are based on resilience and sustainable development,” Minister Gamal M. Hassan told participants. “In 2018, as part of the Resilience and Recovery Framework, we aim to accelerate collaboration between humanitarian and development partners on the agreed collective outcomes.”

Ambassador Tariq Bin Ali Faraj Al-Ansari, Director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to work with the Federal Government of Somalia and to align their funding with the National Development Plan priorities. The State of Qatar provides support for humanitarian, resilience and recovery efforts through partners such as the Qatar Charity and the Red Crescent among others, in partnership with the UN and national authorities.

“Qatar’s support to Somalia is anchored on its principled stand on global commitments including the “leave no one behind” vision of the Agenda 2030. We provided US$210 million development assistance to Somalia since 2010. Qatar also signed a $200 million bilateral agreement on 28 November 2017 with the Somali government focusing on job creation, infrastructure, economic empowerment and education, to be implemented in partnership with the United Nations. Regional and global actors need to take a unified and coherent approach when supporting Somalia in order to be effective”, he underscored.

The 2018 Somalia Humanitarian Needs Overview launched in November shows that the unprecedented drought, spanning at least four consecutive poor rainy seasons, has resulted in severe and growing humanitarian needs across Somalia. Limited rain, displacement, lack of access to basic services and continuing conflict continue to drive needs. Some 6.2 million people need humanitarian assistance and protection assistance, 3.1 million of these need urgent life-saving assistance.

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