Tories Advance No-Brexit/Brexit Legislation
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
On Friday by a 358 - 234 majority, Tory-led MPs passed legislation for no-Brexit/Brexit by January 31, clearing the first parliamentary hurdle, Johnson saying ahead of the vote:
"Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation, one United Kingdom, filled with renewed confidence in our national destiny, and determined at last to take advantage of the opportunities that now lie before us."
In January, MPs return for further debate on the issue, a Tory majority virtually assuring adoption of Johnson's agenda.
Labor opposed the bill, but 38 party members broke ranks, six supporting the Tory bill, 32 abstaining.
Ahead of the vote, soon to step down as Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn said the following:
"This deal will be used as a battering ram to drive us down the path towards more deregulation and towards a toxic deal with Donald Trump that will sell out our NHS and push up the price of medicines. We remain certain there is a better and fairer way for Britain to leave the EU."
Brexit legislation leaves the UK half-in and half-out of the EU by remaining in the customs union and single market at least through 2020, Brussels and Berlin retaining control.
Under the 1972 European Communities Act, Britain remains a "rule-taker…not a rule-maker," UK media reported.
Brexit legislation replaces cooperation with the EU on alleged worker rights with so-called protecting and enhancing them under a UK neoliberal employment bill.
The measure "locks in" Brexit by midnight December 31. It must be adopted by the House of Lords and European Parliament before January 31.
According to director of Birmingham University's Center for Brexit Studies Alex de Ruyter, the Withdrawal Agreement "does not deal with anything to do with the future. This is like a divorce that doesn't deal with who will have custody of the children!"
Nottingham University politics and international relations researcher Chris Stafford called the Withdrawal Agreement a "controversial divorce deal (leaving Britain) no room for maneuver."
Last month, Corbyn warned that Johnson-led Tories may privatize Britain's National Health Service, citing documents he obtained revealing it — based on US/UK trade talks, saying:
"If you watched the first TV debate between me and Boris Johnson, you'll have seen me hold up these censored, blacked-out reports of secret US-UK talks about breaking open our NHS to US corporations and driving up the cost of medicines," adding:
"You'll have seen Boris Johnson lose his cool, very angrily react saying it was 'an absolute invention' and 'completely untrue.' "
"He told the country there were 'no circumstances whatsoever in which his government or any Conservative government' would put the NHS on the table in any trade negotiations."
"What I have here is something I can reveal to you — 451 pages of unredacted documents and information. All of it here."
"His government released" a redacted version of these documents. "We have since obtained" an unredacted version, "which is a very different version of events."
"These uncensored documents leave Boris Johnson's denials in absolute tatters."
"Now we know the truth, when Johnson says, 'get Brexit done.' It's a fraud on the British people. This is the reality. Years of bogged down negotiations and our NHS is up for sale."
Material Corbyn obtained covered six rounds of talks between Tories and the Trump regime from July 2017 until mid-2019 in Washington and London, things well advanced on this issue, he said.
Yellow Vest protests in France against social injustice have been ongoing for over a year.
Since December 5, hundreds of thousands of French workers, youths and others have been protesting against President Macron's pension reform scheme that's all about further eroding social justice by slashing vital benefits. France is currently paralyzed.
Will Britain go the same way in the new year against Johnson's neoliberal harshness, perhaps hardened with new powers from the Withdrawal Agreement?
Will a trade agreement with the US worsen things further? So-called US-negotiated free trade deals aren't fair.
They override sovereign rights, fundamental freedoms, labor and consumer rights, environmental concerns and social justice.
In the new year and beyond, will ordinary Brits have second thoughts about Johnson-led Tory rule — serving privileged interests exclusively at their expense more-so than his predecessors?
VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."