Joe Biden's Secretary of State pick Tony Blinken said Brexit was like a dog being run over by a car - Politics | PoFo

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What now Boris? Your plans for screwing the EU with the help of Trump are flat in the water. Looks like the Brexitters will be screwed instead, like a dog run over by a car.

Joe Biden's Secretary of State pick Tony Blinken said Brexit was like a dog being run over by a car and a 'total mess'

Antony Blinken, Joe Biden's reported pick for Secretary of State, last year said Brexit was a "total mess" and likened it to "the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog."

Blinken, who served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2013 to 2015, also said it "clearly" would have been in the United States' interest to keep the UK in the EU.

President-elect Biden is also firmly opposed Brexit, and in October warned Boris Johnson not to let Brexit undermine the Good Friday Agreement on the island of Ireland.

Joe Biden's pick for Secretary of State Antony Blinken last year described Brexit as a "total mess" and said that the process resembled a dog being run over by a car, in comments that further underline the stark policy differences between the incoming White House administration and the UK government.

Biden has reportedly chosen his long-time adviser Antony Blinken, who served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Obama, as his Secretary of State when he enters office in January.

Speaking on the "Pod Save The World" podcast in March last year, Blinken — who served as Biden's chief foreign policy adviser during the presidential campaign — said that Brexit was a "total mess," adding: "This is not just the dog that caught the car, this is the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog."

Blinken's comments came when former Prime Minister Theresa May was struggling to secure approval for her proposed Brexit deal in parliament, but he also emphasised that he was ideologically opposed to the UK's departure from the EU.

He went on to suggest that "our interests clearly would have been in keeping Britain in" and said that the Irish peace process would be "a heck of a lot tougher" after Brexit, in comments which were first reported by the Times of London newspaper.

Blinken added that Ben Rhodes, co-host of Pod Save The World and an Obama-era White House staffer, was "exactly right" in his characterization of Brexit as having "shitty consequences" for the British economy and said that it was "clearly" in US interests for the UK to remain in the EU.

Blinken's comments underline the stark ideological differences between Boris Johnson's government and the incoming White House administration. President-elect Biden was firmly opposed to Brexit and in October publicly warned Boris Johnson not to undermine the Good Friday Agreement in his pursuit of a favorable trade deal with the EU.

The president-elect took a congratulatory phone call with Johnson on the phone the week before last and was reported to have warned Johnson twice to pressure Johnson over his Brexit plans.

Biden is also said by campaign staffers to harbour a degree of personal animosity towards the prime minister, who he last year described as "kind of a physical and emotional clone" of President Trump.

Johnson's tweet congratulating Biden for his victory earlier this month was subsequently found to contain remnants of an earlier draft congratulating Donald Trump instead.

Negotiators from the UK and EU are entering what may be the final week of talks as they attempt to agree on the terms of a Brexit deal. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, last week hailed "better progress" in talks but warned that both sides had not reached an agreement, meaning that a no-deal Brexit remained a possible outcome.

"Johnson's tweet congratulating Biden for his victory earlier this month was subsequently found to contain remnants of an earlier draft congratulating Donald Trump instead."

Against all odds Johnson was hoping for a Trump victory because nothing else is compatible with Brexit.

We have passed peak far-right populism and the Trump clones can crawl back into their holes. :D
Biden piles pressure on Boris Johnson at Brexit crunch time

US President-elect Joe Biden has cranked up the pressure on Boris Johnson to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union, as negotiations between the UK and Brussels enter what could be their final few days.

Speaking with reporters in Delaware, Biden said he had talked to the UK Prime Minister, the Irish Taoiseach and the government of France among others and made clear his opposition to a guarded border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which, as part of the UK, has left the EU.

The President-elect said the "idea of having the border north and south once again being closed, it's just not right," adding that it's incumbent on every stakeholder to "keep the border open."

The UK left the EU on January 31, and is currently in a transition period which expires on December 31, with or without a formal trade deal in place.

The return of a hard border between the two has always been viewed as a potential consequence of no deal being reached between the UK and the EU, despite an agreement made last year when the first Brexit deal was struck to keep the border open.

Johnson's government exacerbated these concerns over the summer, when it introduced domestic legislation that, by the government's own admission, would breach the treaty Johnson had signed with the EU, breaking international law in a "very specific and limited way."

The Internal Market Bill would allow the British government to effectively ignore parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol in order to keep trade between the four nations of the UK as seamless as possible. However, critics believe that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, this could create the need for customs checks between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Their fear is that any infrastructure on that border would then be at risk of being vandalized or customs officers being attacked, leading to a need for a guarded border.
This, many worry, would begin a dangerous slide back to the sectarian violence that claimed more than 3,500 lives over three decades.

American politicians in both parties, most notably former Democratic President Bill Clinton, played a large part in negotiating the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which bought an end to much of the violence.

Biden has spoken publicly about the matter before, tweeting in September: "We can't allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit. Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period."

Britons and Europeans who desperately want a deal struck in the next few days are hopeful that this will prove to be a sufficient carrot for Johnson to unlock the talks and avoid a crash-out. Agreeing to a trade deal with the US has always been held up by Brexiteers as a chief benefit of having left the EU. And it's no secret that Johnson is keen to build a good relationship with Biden.

Time is running out though. The Brexit talks have been stuck on the same issues for months. With Johnson due to speak to the President of the EU Commission at some point this week, the hope among those who want a deal, is that Biden's words will nudge Johnson to finally make the necessary concessions.
The Office for Budget Responsibility revisited its Brexit forecasts after deciding the prospect of a “no deal” exit remained a risk, just over five weeks before Britain fully leaves the world’s biggest trading bloc on Dec. 31.

The OBR said the imposition of tariffs under World Trade Organization rules and disruption at borders would hit parts of the economy such as manufacturing that were emerging relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The independent body had already forecast Brexit would cost Britain 4% of GDP in the long run even if Britain secures a free trade agreement with the EU, compared to it staying in the bloc.

“This (no deal) would further reduce output by 2% initially and 1.5% at the forecast horizon,” it said.

The initial economic hit would be felt at the start of the following year, and the OBR predicted little of the lost output would be recovered over the next five years.

Unemployment, at 4.8% in the third quarter of 2020, could peak at 8.3% in the third quarter of 2021 if there is no deal -- 0.9 percentage points higher than in its central forecast for that period.

Consumer prices could rise by 1.5% above the OBR’s central forecast, and lower tax receipts and higher spending on welfare and other measures could mean borrowing is higher by 10 billion pounds ($13.38 billion) a year on average from 2021-22 onwards, pushing up debt.

“The imposition of tariffs on EU imports, higher non-tariff barriers, and a drop in the exchange rate all raise consumer prices, leaving them 1.5% higher by the forecast horizon than in our central forecast,” the OBR said. ... SKBN285209

And Britain's one big business faces problems:

The City of London’s unfettered access to the European Union, its biggest customer, ends when the Brexit transition arrangements expire, and Brussels wants trading in euro-denominated derivatives to remain within its jurisdiction or in a country with “equivalent” standards to the bloc.

The Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on Wednesday confirmed that from Jan. 1 EU investors would have to use a swaps platform inside the bloc, or based in a non-EU country such as the United States that has already been granted “equivalence” or permission.

This means that branches of EU banks in London will face conflicting EU and British requirements on where to trade derivatives. ... SKBN2850SZ

The drop in GDP is on top of the Covid hit, of course. Johnson and Sunak will presumably claim it's all Covid when it happens, and there was nothing they could have done.
Prosthetic Conscience wrote:The drop in GDP is on top of the Covid hit, of course. Johnson and Sunak will presumably claim it's all Covid when it happens, and there was nothing they could have done.

That the UK is hit worse by the pandemic than other countries, notably Germany, is of course due to the government's corona response.

It will be hard to say what is due to the pandemic-induced recession and what is due to Brexit, but the UK is facing the worst recession in 300 years. And in the end, the people will blame the government no matter the causes.

The UK economy is heading for its worst crash in 300 years

"Current conditions are unprecedented in our lifetime and all forecasters are struggling to make out where the economy stands now, never mind what happens in future. But it is clear that the next few months are going to produce some of the biggest output falls on record,"

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