POLITICS ACROSS THE POND—MP Andrew Bridgen weighs in on the major political developments from Joe Biden, Brexit negotiations, and the UK’s lockdown to the tale of Mayor of Leicester and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He declears whether or not he will vote for the new COVID19 measures proposed by PM Boris Johnson.
This year has felt like one of the longest in history with all the restrictions of freedoms and social interaction due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Few will be sad to see the back of 2020, but before we do long-running issues on both sides of the Atlantic must be resolved.
The US Presidential elections
Despite the fact that the global media called the election for Biden weeks ago, incidentally, the same global media that confidently predicted a Biden landslide, which didn’t occur, time is running out for the Trump legal team to get their legal challenges accepted in the various states and start the legal process to overturn the results.
As more than an interested observer of the US elections and someone not unfamiliar with election processes, there does seem to be a large number of irregularities with the results we are seeing reported in the US.
Outcomes in the simultaneous, but much less reported State, Congressional, and Senate elections do look somewhat at odds with the declared Presidential result and when the number of ballots received exceeds the number of eligible voters in a county, surely questions must be asked?
Postal ballots were a big feature of this election and they are also the main source of vote fraud in the UK, I think however that Team Trump’s charge that the Dominion election software was manipulated will be the issue on which the election result will be decided. Not the outcome that anyone wanted but where we are. It could well be that on January 20th, Joe Biden will relinquish his self-proclaimed position of President-elect and move into the Oval Office of the White House, and no doubt the media will give a sigh of relief knowing that they got their man in. This is not good for democracy or the media, but I think most of the latter gave up on that a long time ago, and it’s where we are.
Biden has already offered his tuppence worth of comment on the Brexit trade deal negotiations stating “ We don’t want a guarded border”.
Catch up Joe, both the UK and EU declared years ago that whatever the outcome there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland. Perhaps Biden meant to say a “Garda” border which is the name of the Irish Republic’s police force? I am not sure and the problem is when I hear Joe Biden speak, I am not always sure that I know what he is trying to say and I am not always convinced even he knows what he is saying.
I am relieved that PM Boris Johnson announced this week that the UK defense budget will increase by 10% as I think the world could well be a more dangerous place after 20th January. I am not sure that President Putin and President Xi will make of a Biden Presidency, but I doubt they will fear him as much they did Trump. A Biden presidency at the age of 78 starts the same way most Presidents end their term, as a lame duck.
The Brexit trade negotiations
As the deadline after the deadline is reached and the negotiations continue with claim and counterclaim, it’s difficult for the public to understand how after more than 4 years of talks we have landed here, the answer is we were always going to land here. All negotiations with the EU no to the wire which is why when they are not getting what they want the EU to keep extending the negotiations by moving the wire.
The latest reports state that a deal has to be concluded in the next seven days, but I would not be shocked if talks continued after that! The article 50 process and the so-called transition period were never agreed to by the EU to ease the UK out of the block seamlessly but to delay and stifle our departure.
MP Andrew Bridgen: The fact that the EU won’t agree to a free trade deal with its largest and nearest export market without strings attached to hamstring our future competitiveness, says a lot about the EU’s own insecurity and lack of confidence in its own economic growth and competitiveness going forward. Boris Johnson and our lead negotiator Lord Frost have remained firm on our redlines to this point and must continue to do so.
I have maintained for months that of the two outstanding issues namely Fishing rights in UK waters and the so-called “ level playing field”, which sounds innocent enough, but which would bind the UK to most existing EU regulations and those created in the future, the fish issue is, in fact, a Red Herring.
I believe that despite France’s President Macron’s faux rage the fish issue will be given up by the EU and they will demand that we compromise on the “ level playing field” which is what they really want. This will amount to the EU giving up a Sprat to Catch a Mackerel.
Despite Macron’s faux rage,the fish issue is a Red Herring and will be ditched at the last minute, the EU will ask the UK to compromise on what they really want which is the so called “level playing field”. This would hamstring the U.K. forever with EU regulations.
— Andrew Bridgen (@ABridgen) November 27, 2020
I remain hopeful and confident that the UK side will not fall for this old trick at the last minute. Leaving without a deal will hit our economy in the very short term, however, agreeing to a bad deal will damage our economic performance and or democracy forever. The EU plan to keep the British Bulldog on a leash, just a slightly longer one, won’t fool anyone at home and will have severe political repercussions if it’s allowed to pass.
From Governor Andrew Cuomo to Mayor Peter Soulsby
The blatantly political decision of New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo to delay the introduction of the newly available Covid 19 vaccine, apparently to prevent President Trump’s administration from getting any political credit (wow those Democrats are scared of him), is the worst face of politics and should be condemned.
All elected politicians have a duty of care to their electorates and I hope this decision is remembered the next time the denizens of New York head to the ballot boxes. Perhaps Cuomo is confident that he has the codes to the Dominion software?
This week the Government in the UK announced its new tiers of COVID restrictions. It has been done on a more regional basis than previously, it is claimed for ease of administration, simplification, and geography. This has placed my constituency of North West Leicestershire in the same geographic grouping as the Labor-controlled City of Leicester.
Leicester is controlled by the less than impressive Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby. This means that the fate of my constituents, their freedoms, and the many hospitality businesses which are currently closed and facing severe financial hardship, are reliant on the actions and decisions of the Labour Mayor in Leicester. Let’s examine his track record.
After the first national lockdown, Leicester was the first UK city to be placed into a local lockdown due to spiraling infection rates. Soulsby himself was exposed in the media for repeatedly flouting the lockdown rules, which he dismissed as insignificant. Despite millions of pounds of support from the Central Government delivered over many months through our NHS, Department of Health and Public Health England, all of which has been rubbished by the Mayor and his Politburo in City Hall, the infection rates remain worryingly high.
Soulsby and his regime in Leicester have been described throughout the pandemic as uncooperative in taking measures to suppress the virus. Instead of dealing with the acute current challenges facing the City, Mayor Soulsby appears to be putting all his administration’s time and energy into forcing through in his unpopular residents’ parking permit scheme, I guess it’s true that the Socialists never let a good crisis go to waste in furthering their pet projects.
I cannot support measures that condemn my constituents to high levels of unending restrictive lockdown due to the incompetence of a city administration they did not vote for and do not support. When Leicester needed leadership, whether in dealing with COVID-19 or the much-publicized endemic modern slavery in the City, there was none from the Mayor’s office.
The chances of North West Leicestershire being released from Tier 3 restrictions while we are linked to Leicester, given their track record, is somewhere between slim and zero and slim just left.
I am seeking firm assurances from Government that as infection rates fall in my constituency we will be de-coupled from Leicester and our restrictions relaxed, otherwise, I will not be able to support the vote in Parliament on these measures on Tuesday.
The patently incompetent administration in City Hall has already, through their own actions and inactions, caused untold and probably irrevocable damage to thousands of businesses and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the City of Leicester.
I cannot vote for measures that will also allow them to do this to the businesses and families in the area that I am elected to represent.