After the, ahem, unusual intervention by a faith leader into the UK General Election, with claims by the UK’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, of antisemitism in the Labour party, today the campaign returned to more substantial matters. To be clear, this is an internal party matter, not handled well admittedly, but not exclusive to the Labour party either.
- The US pushing lower food standards on Britain post Brexit, including allowing imports of chlorine-washed chickens (2nd working group, p42), less nutritional labelling on foods (2nd working group, p42), and less protection for regional food like stilton cheese (1st working group, p41). The US offered to help the UK government ‘sell’ chlorine chicken to a sceptical British public and stated that parliamentary scrutiny of food standards is ‘unhelpful’ (2nd working group, pp42-43).
- The US banning any mention of climate change in a US-UK trade deal (2nd working group, p17).
- US officials threatening UK civil servants that they would undermine US trade talks if they supported certain EU positions in international forums (5th working group, p35).
- The US suggesting a ‘corporate court system’ in a US-UK deal, which would allow big business to sue the British government, in secret and without appeal, for anything they regard as ‘unfair’ (4th working group, pp92-98, 5th working group, p35). Recent similar cases have included suing governments for trying to phase out use of coal.
- US officials pushing a far reaching proposals on the digital economy, giving Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon sweeping freedoms to move and use our online data (2nd working group, pp30-31, 4th working group, p22), which would make taxation and regulation of these companies more difficult and prohibit Labour proposals for a public broadband service (4th working group, pp99-100).
- Threats to public services like the NHS, via sweeping services liberalisation (3rd working group, pp41-42). The British government would need to exclude everything not subject to liberalisation in order to protect public services, while bringing formerly public services like the mail, or rail companies back into public ownership would be much harder.
- US officials making a further threat to NHS in terms of medicine pricing policy, with special concern about Brits paying more for cancer medicines which the US feels Britain doesn’t pay enough for (4th working group, pp121-132). Trade negotiators have received special lobbying from pharmaceutical corporations as part of the trade talks (5th working group, pp43-44).
- US officials demanding US experts and multinational corporations are able to participate in standard-setting in Britain post Brexit (4th working group, p58-59).
- A promise by both sides to keep talks secret from the public (2nd working group, p5 & 8).