President Biden drives the EU to a more aggressive foreign policy

President Biden’s more diplomatic approach towards the EU comes at a price. Last week the USA persuaded the EU to put its name to sanctions against Chinese officials and to make a statement condemning China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslims. The EU had been negotiating an Investment and Trade Agreement with China, and had been careful not to criticise China’s approach to human rights. The 5 Eyes grouping of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand had been more outspoken and Australia had borne the brunt of Chinese denials, rebuttals and complaints.
The US Secretary of State also made it crystal clear that the USA remains implacably opposed to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, despite it being almost finished. He stated it was a “bad idea” for the EU a well as for her western allies. He added to Trump’s strategic criticisms the added criticism that the project gets in the way of EU climate change objectives as well, a new US sensitivity which the EU is meant to share.
The USA under Biden has more time for allies, but expects them to rally round a new aggression towards both China and Russia. President Biden dislikes these states. He alleges they undertake state sponsored cyber disruption, interfere in western elections, fail to uphold human rights for all and are building up their military power whilst creating a series of client states. The German model of doing plenty of business with Russia and China is being put under some strain. For her part China is testing out both Biden’s power and the cohesiveness of the western alliance. The trends are clearly towards a US led system and country grouping, and a Chinese led one. Biden’s team are trying a tough public stance on political matters, whilst trying diplomacy to settle some of the trade issues with China in private.
I would be interested in your comments as well on where the UK should now position its foreign policy towards China.

195 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    March 27, 2021

    Good Morning,

    A rather naive question when it comes to Russia and China; our policy is the same as the US, whatever that may be.
    The problem is both adversaries have ‘strong men'(dictator for life) in charge, the question we need to answer is, what do these two gentlemen want to achieve and be remembered for. In the case of China, it is reunification of Taiwan and control of the surrounding seas. Men with large egos don’t have patience; so the likelihood of move against Taiwan is probable within a few years. Will the USA stand against China, will we participate?
    The best course of action to reduce or eliminate the China risk is economic, not just fiddling around the edges, but really reducing our dependence on imports by a substantial percentage.
    Our immediate problem is of course the EU, their overt intentions to make the UK suffer for Brexit. A strong message should be sent, and that message is that we no longer recognise the ECJ in any capacity, on past or future arrangements with us.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 27, 2021

      Indeed all very worrying indeed.

      Plus we have 300,000 people from Hong Kong ( the Home Office’s central estimate) who will take up the new visa route over the next five years, out of a total 5.4 million people potentially eligible to come to cope with. Home office immigration estimates are rarely too low.

      We certainly need to unlock now, ditch the net zero lunacy (and HS2) and get real to cope with all these potential issues. Grant Shapps on a recent Spectator (propaganda in essence) podcast demonstrates his ignorance yet again. He says on HS2 that “this train has left the station” (the sunk cost fallacy) and even thinks electric cars save significant CO2 (do the sums mate). His Manchester Poly HND in business and finance) has not really equipped him to be a sound transport secretary. He seems to knows almost nothing about transport, energy, engineering, real economics, physics, batteries or climate.

      1. Nig l
        March 27, 2021

        You have been quiet for some time and now the same old obsessions. Nothing to do with the subject. Time for another break please.

        1. Lifelogic
          March 27, 2021

          These “same old obsessions” are what the country needs to get the economy back on track and to avoid Labour in 3+ years time. Alas Boris seems to have morphed into the dire Ed Milliband, under pressure from Carrie perhaps, Sunak into another tax to death Denis Healey. Healey gave us 98% income tax. For landlords now it is already well over 100% and now no personal allowances for many either.

        2. DavidJ
          March 27, 2021

          -1

      2. Mark B
        March 27, 2021

        LL

        You’re back !!

        Well the bloody hell have you been, some of us have been worried !

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          March 27, 2021

          Yes, hurray!!

          1. James1
            March 27, 2021

            +1

        2. Lifelogic
          March 27, 2021

          Just busy with some urgent business matters. Thanks for your concern.

      3. Stred
        March 27, 2021

        There’s plenty of time to reduce the speed and save a fortune on track ,tunnels and noise reduction if they need capacity. The journey time would only be minutes longer.

      4. Paul Cuthbertson
        March 27, 2021

        LL – spot on with your second paragraph plus it sums of the majority in government. Clueless.

      5. Nilus Hawkinski
        March 27, 2021

        Over the life of the electric car battery , surely it does save a mountain of CO2 over the fossil fuel engine.

      6. Vernon Wright
        March 27, 2021

        Not just his fiancée, Lifelogic, but his father Stanley too: I’m sad to say that the whole family is in thrall to the anthropogenic-climate-change fraud. Moreover the P.M., despite having been well — and expensively — educated, is desperately ignorant in so many matters critical to his current position … and surprisingly inarticulate.

        ΠΞ

      7. DavidJ
        March 27, 2021

        +1

    2. MiC
      March 27, 2021

      I agree with your main points for once.

      The people whom China has recently “sanctioned” are British – I don’t have to hand any prominent names from the European Union.

      As you say, the UK is far more influenced by the US than it is.

      But whatever, these tensions are inevitable and part of day-to-day global politics.

      It’s only to be expected that John will try to exploit them where he can.

    3. Tad Davison
      March 27, 2021

      China is a threat to world peace. They’re playing the long game. Their aim is world domination, and always have been long before they were even accepted into the global family of nations. Biden does not see things that way, ‘Come on man, China is not our enemy’. That shows a distinct lack of understanding at the very least, but more likely this is just a dolt covering up for the malpracises of shifty people in his own administration.

      The biggest threat to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the beleaguered Chinese people themselves who have had enough of this outmoded and oppressive political model. Evil must not stand, and certain standards must prevail. We in the west would do well to lend them every assistance in getting rid of the CCP, not suck up to them as the present Whitehouse incumbent would do. They have infiltrated nearly every institution in the United States and contaminated them with bribery and corruption. Cameron once said lobbying (paid) was the next big scandal to hit. Perhaps in this he was right and far-sighted?

      1. Fred.H
        March 27, 2021

        ‘ Cameron once said lobbying (paid) was the next big scandal to hit.’
        breathtakingly relevant.

      2. Peter Davies
        March 28, 2021

        Well said

      3. Nilus Hawkinski
        March 28, 2021

        Quite correct

  2. Norman
    March 27, 2021

    I’m afraid Hezekiah comes to mind, and the way he showed all his assets to the King of Babylon (Isaiah 39:1-8; 2 Kings 20:12-21; 2 Chron 32:31). The parallels are striking.
    All we can do now is put our own house in order, and deal with our ideological foes with wisdom, integrity, respect and resolute firmness. Sadly, the folly of the West in recent decades does not leave much room for optimism. However, the Gospel of Christ, even under state persecution, is flourishing in China (in season and out of season) as it once did here. Empires come and go, but He will win in the end.

  3. Garland
    March 27, 2021

    President Biden also made it clear he expects Britain to stand by its commitment to put and police a border in the Irish Sea. So it is time for you to stop whining about the barriers that face traders in Northern Ireland (all of which you voted for) and face up to the reality of a divided United Kingdom. Take ownership of your oven ready deal

    reply Do you know that because the PM and President we’re talking? So we can’t be that unimportant after all.

    1. MiC
      March 27, 2021

      Maybe it’s rather because Mr. Biden thinks that Ireland is important?

      1. IanT
        March 27, 2021

        Americans tend to have a somewhat romantic view of Ireland I’m afraid. Think of the cheerful leather-jacketed IRA character in John Wayne’s ‘The Quiet Man’ versus the reality of IRA extortion and murder.

        I used to regularly visit my company’s US factories and remember explaining the realities of the IRA to some American colleagues in the bar after work on one occasion. Someone had just been around collecting for NORAID and a few had chipped in. They simply saw the IRA as some kind of ‘freedom fighters’ rather than domestic terrorists. Support for NORAID reduced considerably of course after 9/11, when the US experienced the horrors of domestic terrorism for themselves.

        Many Americans do cherish their Irish roots of course. US politicians are naturally very much alive to this fact and are adept at playing on it. However, whilst I’m sure Mr Biden also has sentimental attachments to Ireland, I’m not sure the word “important” should be used too loosely to determine any real American political priorities. People mocked Trump for his ‘America First’ philosophy but the reality is that this has always been the reality in practice. So whilst Irish sentiment & heritage does carry weight with US voters but I very much doubt Ireland plays any significant part in American foreign policy thinking in actual practice.

      2. jon livesey
        March 27, 2021

        If he thinks that, he’s an idiot. Ireland is a little bit of theatre which is a useful pawn for the EU, nothing more.

        1. MiC
          March 27, 2021

          Quite simply, if the US President thinks Ireland is important, then whether it was or not, that MAKES it important.

          Do you understand what a superpower is?

      3. Fred.H
        March 27, 2021

        amusing that Presidents show so much interest in Ireland..

        1. MiC
          March 28, 2021

          Yes, it is, if only for the chagrin of the europhobics!

      4. Paul Cuthbertson
        March 28, 2021

        Southern Ireland is very important for Hilary. She has many globalists accomplices there amongst other interests.

    2. Richard1
      March 27, 2021

      He has said no such thing. He has said he hopes the Belfast Agreement should be respected. Indeed. That applies also to the EU. The Belfast agreement confirms NI’s place in the U.K., and is clear it cannot be changed without a vote of the people of NI. That includes NI’s place in the U.K. internal market. The EU’s approach is a breach.

    3. Denis Cooper
      March 27, 2021

      Yes, we have to police a border in the sea because any customs checks anywhere on the island of Ireland would allegedly be equivalent to a hard border and a threat to peace. Oddly enough however the customs checks at Belfast and Larne will take place on dry land, not at sea, and likewise those at Dublin and other sea ports in the Irish Republic. And then I recently read in an Irish newspaper about checks being performed at postal depots in the Republic, which depots are on dry land on the island of Ireland rather than in the sea, and I suppose that any freight brought in by air will also be checked on dry land, unless of course the airport has been built out at sea. I ask myself why the UK government has put up with this nonsense, rather than ridiculing it.

      1. Alan Jutson
        March 27, 2021

        +1

      2. Lembert
        March 27, 2021

        Denis, the UK government puts up with it because the partition of NI from GB is what it agreed to in the Withdrawal Agreement. It was a key part of the oven ready deal

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 27, 2021

          The nonsense started when Theresa May was Prime Minister, and her plan was to use it as a pretext to keep the whole of the UK under the economic thumb of the EU.

          I wrote about it on here at the time, for example on December 2 2017:

          https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/12/02/the-irish-border/#comment-904608

          “When you have an Irish minister saying that they will not tolerate

          “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland” …

          … there is really no point in any further discussions.”

          And then again later, for example on December 11 2018:

          https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/12/11/a-managed-exit-without-signing-the-withdrawal-agreement/#comment-980328

          “Just a reminder that Theresa May gratuitously took on responsibility to ensure that the EU and the Irish government do not erect any barriers on their side of the Irish border … her preferred solution is to sacrifice the interests of the people she is supposed to be serving to satisfy the unreasonable demands of the Irish government, when in my view it would have been quite enough to offer to pass a new UK law to control what goods could be driven across the border into the Republic and so into the EU Single Market.”

          Boris Johnson followed accepting the Irish nonsense but made it worse by abandoning Northern Ireland while telling the unionists that he had their backs, and now we have:

          https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/features/loyalist-anger-growing-over-irish-sea-border-but-does-that-mean-there-is-a-potential-threat-to-peace-40244338.html

          “Loyalist anger growing over Irish sea border, but does that mean there is a potential threat to peace?”

          “The Irish Sea border has led to a racheting-up of tensions in loyalist communities. But how big a threat do the main paramilitary organisations pose?”

          “While the potential threat from dissident republicans was often raised during the three years of Brexit negotiations, little consideration was given to how loyalists would react to what they perceive to be a betrayal of their sovereignty with a customs border in the Irish Sea.”

      3. Pauline Baxter
        March 27, 2021

        If we must talk about Northern Ireland being separated from the rest of the UK, when J.R.s Diary was on a different subject, I might as well put my spoke into the wheel.
        The Northern Irish Protocol was a huge clanger, a mistake which should not have been made. It should quite simply be repealed, here and now.
        The whole trade and co-operation agreement was dangerous and unnecessary. The P.M. lacks courage. We should have left ‘No Deal’. That too could be revoked now since (I believe) EU have still not ratified it.
        If I remember rightly the whole supposed ‘hard border’ problem on the island of Ireland was ridiculed way back, and was simply Eire putting obstacles in the way of any kind of Brexit.
        Modern technology enables any kind of checks to be made without customs posts and armed guards.

      4. acorn
        March 27, 2021

        A “Border in the Irish Sea” is a metaphor. It doesn’t mean the Customs posts have to actually be in the wet bit. Pre-clearance checks are also carried out at GB Ferry Ports before they cross to Northern Ireland. Just the same as you can go through US Immigration at Dublin Airport before you get on the plane and arrive in the US as if you had landed from a domestic flight.

        BTW. UK total trade with the USA is £230 billion, about 16% of UK total trade, not exactly negligible.

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 28, 2021

          But the overall economic gains from a UK-US trade deal would be negligible, and as I am referring to the official projections made by the Department of international Trade:

          https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/869592/UK_US_FTA_negotiations.pdf

          I don’t understand why JR is reluctant to publish this information.

          On page 32:

          “A trade agreement with the US could increase UK GDP in the long run by around 0.07% (within a range of between 0.02% and 0.15%) or 0.16% (between 0.05% and 0.36%) under scenario 1 and scenario 2 respectively. This is equivalent to an increase of £1.6 billion or £3.4 billion compared to its 2018 level.”

    4. Mike Wilson
      March 27, 2021

      This, it has to be said, is none of President Biden’s business.

      1. MiC
        March 27, 2021

        His country is a guarantor of the peace agreement in Ireland. It has everything to do with him.

        1. jon livesey
          March 27, 2021

          No-one can guarantee peace in Ireland. It depends 100% on the people who live there and their willingness to live under whatever the latest deal is.

          *Their* willingness. Do you actually imagine that Biden can wave a magic wand and restore Unionist support for the GFA? If you do, you are as blind as he seems to be.

        2. Fred.H
          March 27, 2021

          When did you last see American military or Police services operating in Ireland?

          1. MiC
            March 28, 2021

            Welcome to Pedant’s Corner.

            It is a guarantor of the GFA, by exactly the means which you see in action right now.

        3. Sea_Warrior
          March 28, 2021

          Where’s that written down?

    5. acorn
      March 27, 2021

      Westminster underestimates Irish soft-power in Washington. Biden is the 23rd US President with Irish heritage. Thirty-five million US citizens claim some Irish family history. The powerful Congressional House Ways and Means Committee, is consistently pro the Belfast Agreement and Biden is pro the EU. Simon Coveney and EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic spoke with the Friends of Ireland caucus recently including its chairman, Congressman Richie Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means.

      Taking on the US Congress and the EU together over Northern Ireland is going to be a bit of a stretch for Boris. and a US trade deal.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 27, 2021

        Maybe later you’ll be able to read my comment below about the negligible value of a UK-US trade deal.

      2. Andrew Dykes
        March 27, 2021

        Biden’s Irish heritage is so close to his heart that he posed for a St Patrick’s Day photo op beside Scottish, not Irish bagpipes. He’s a fraud.

        1. John O'Leary
          March 27, 2021

          The great pipes (píob mhór) are also played in Ireland in outdoor parades etc. The Irish pipes píobaí uilleann) are mainly played indoors. So it would be necessary to identify the tartan the piper was wearing to be sure whether the pipes were Scottish or Irish.

    6. Tad Davison
      March 27, 2021

      Biden would dismiss the UK in an instant if and when it suits him. YouTube is littered with instances of Biden’s duplicity, double-standards, contradictions and plagiarism. We trust this idiot at our peril!

      1. rose
        March 27, 2021

        But is he President – or is it Susan Rice, Blinken, or Obama? Or someone else?

    7. beresford
      March 27, 2021

      When did ‘we’ vote for a border in the Irish Sea? ‘We’ didn’t vote to give our fisheries to the EU either. We voted (several times) to leave the EU, and the manner of our leaving is down to our weak politicians who couldn’t stomach a clean break.

      1. Len Peel
        March 27, 2021

        You voted for it in the 2019 general election. A border in the Irish Sea was the whole point of Boris’s oven ready deal. Surely you knew that?

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 27, 2021

          Really? Yet on page 44 of the “Conservative and Unionist ” manifesto for the 2019 election:

          https://assets-global.website-files.com/5da42e2cae7ebd3f8bde353c/5dda924905da587992a064ba_Conservative%202019%20Manifesto.pdf

          “We will ensure that Northern Ireland’s businesses and producers enjoy unfettered access to the rest of the UK and that in the implementation of our Brexit deal, we maintain and strengthen the integrity and smooth operation of our internal market.”

          1. Swindon
            March 28, 2021

            Yes, the manifesto said no border between NI and GB while the oven ready deal said big costly border. Denis, let me break this gently to you. Manifestos are not always truthful

      2. Andy
        March 27, 2021

        We voted once – narrowly – to leave the EU based on a definition of Brexit which the Brexitists running the country have spectacularly failed to deliver.

        At every other vote national or foe the European Parliament since 1975 a majority of the electorate have voted for pro-European parties and pro-European candidates.

        Nobody has ever voted for the lousy ‘trade’ deal the Tories have imposed on us and the vast majority of the electorate opposed the withdrawal agreement.

        There simply is no mandate from the majority for the Brexit mess you have delivered which is why it will inevitably be undone.

        1. David Brown
          March 27, 2021

          Andy,
          A very well constructed comment.
          No one voted for so called trade deals, they voted on the pretense of reduced immigration.
          We had 60% trade with the EU our closest trading partner and ally.
          Brexit was and is a far right wing vanity project.
          People are not interested in so called “World trading Britain” or outward facing Britain and its bad for the environment.
          It all boiled down to immigration and the sooner we get rid of all the new legislation and go into a Customs Union Agreement with the EU the better.

          1. Peter2
            March 27, 2021

            Trade with the EU was never 60%
            Ridiculous comment David.

        2. Mike Wilson
          March 27, 2021

          When given the opportunity to vote specifically on our EU membership, we voted to leave.

          Your comments about voting for pro EU membership parties in general elections are drivel. General Elections are not one issue elections. Our first past the post system has produced a two party system with the leadership of both parties being pro EU. So, no choice for those who want to leave.

          Until we got a referendum! But you know all this. You spout your endless and hopeless nonsense in the belief that saying something over and over again will give it validity. You are on the wrong site. Head over to the Guardian with the rest of the reality deniers.

    8. ian@Barkham
      March 27, 2021

      Like others have said, he has said no such thing.
      The parties involved in the Belfast Agreement are the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and the USA all agreed the border between north and south will be open and allow free movement. The EU have interfered and created their rules and laws which they want to impose, in doing so it is the EU that is trying to override and tear up the Belfast Agreement. Its bully boy tactics to keep the UK under their control. Very petty, un-elected, un-accountable people

  4. Newmania
    March 27, 2021

    After the war European powers realised with a shock that their long period of dominance had ended and we had entered the age of the Super Power. One of the reasons that Conservative Europeans supported a European political project was to give the Old World a voice in the world comparable with the US.
    Post Brexit Britain has no significant voice in the world ,weak and without allies we cannot afford any kind of moral foreign policy an idea which, in any case, the British tax payer will not pay for.
    I would suggest making a few cheap gestures whilst trading with anyone who will trade with us and continuing to run down military capacity as we have been. A part of me feels bitter and ashamed at this rat like existence but if we must be rats, we had better be good at it.

    1. Tad Davison
      March 27, 2021

      Some things never change, lefties running our country down, incapable if seeing the positives and where the united Kingdom might lead. I know plenty of people – business owners and politicians for example – who cannot wait to get this great country up and running, and leading by example. So many countries would love to be in our position.

      1. MiC
        March 27, 2021

        Aus, NZ, Japan, and the European Union’s twenty-seven, plus those of EFTA/EEA very much would not.

        1. Fred.H
          March 27, 2021

          you asked them all?

    2. Pauline Baxter
      March 27, 2021

      I agree with your first paragraph Newmania.
      However, Britain with Northern Ireland is still a Sovereign Nation and has much to be proud of.
      Idiot politicians have gone out of their way to undermine us, starting with Heath. Blair in particular did great harm.
      But, if only we had the right sort of leadership NOW, we are quite capable of standing on our own two feet. We should NOT run down our military capacity, just make sure all equipment is home produced and concentrate on defending ourselves. Not getting involved in other peoples wars.

    3. Dennis
      March 27, 2021

      ‘..in any case, the British tax payer will not pay for.’ They will pay for anything the govt. demands. They always have and will continue to do so, surely.

  5. agricola
    March 27, 2021

    Our attitude to Russia, a country that murders its citizen opponents wherever they escape to, should be isolation. Buy nothing from them, sell nothing to them and stay defensively very strong. Make the financial cost of their behaviour unbearably high. Just as Reagan and Thatcher did with some success.

    China seems to have captured the manufacturing world on the grounds of cheapness, and a disdain for intellectual property. Throw the process into reverse, bringing home to the USA, UK and the Anglosphere most of that capacity we have surrendered. While offering supportive action to the Hongkong chinese who want it in the form of assylum, reversing the flow of Mainland Chinese to our universities and industry. It is not as if our universities offer democratic enlightenment any longer, becomimg more Maoist by the day. Militarily be strong and be seen to be strong. Draw the line but do nothing unless China steps over it. Self interest might modify their behaviour.

    Our dealings with the EU should be equally forceful, making ir clear that the ECJ is their court not ours and will never be an arbiter of decisions between us. They are no more than an opinion.

    SJR please keep a watchful eye on any agreement between the City of London and the EU on future financial dealings. They will be out to hobble the City through alignment, do not allow it. They could not expect alignment from any other world financial centre, they are arrogant to ask it of ours. Basically the EU have not got their heads around the reality of the UK as a sovereign power. Until they do, handle with care, but treat Europeans as neighbours, they are not the EU. They too are suffering from an overbearing EU.

  6. US Spokesperson
    March 27, 2021

    I am glad you are looking in on our discussions with the EU. It is important for us to have a good relationship with the EU, it is powerful and strategically important to us. I had forgotten about the UK, but thank you for reminding me, we will need to talk to it just after we have talked with Peru and Botswana. How’s Global Britain by the way, still unable to sell your shellfish?

    1. SM
      March 27, 2021

      Perhaps ‘you’ should be concentrating quite a lot of your efforts on talking to the Governments of Mexico and its southern neighbours who are apparently incapable of caring for their citizens, thus causing the migrations north of tens of thousands of their citizens.

    2. Richard1
      March 27, 2021

      This post is not made by a US person. It is made by a regular left-wing UK contributor

    3. Sharon
      March 27, 2021

      Us Spokesperson

      Good morning.

      Is there any need to be rude? If you think so little of Britain, why bother to even make a comment?

    4. Sea_Warrior
      March 27, 2021

      I detect, from your sneering tone, that you aren’t who you pretend to be. Perhaps Sir John could winkle you out.

    5. mickc
      March 27, 2021

      Best of luck getting the German Empire to go along with your wishes. Possibly you may have noticed it prefers to buy its energy from Russia, and not spend on defence because it doesn’t actually consider Russia a threat.
      It will be polite to the USA, after all it wants to trade with it, but it won’t support the foreign policy.
      As for any unpleasantness with China….

    6. No Longer Anonymous
      March 27, 2021

      You’ll be able to see a lot less with your four eyes rather than five.

      Show us a bit more respect than that.

    7. Mike Wilson
      March 27, 2021

      In a recent poll, 97% of people in the US had no idea what ‘EU’ means. A majority thought it was a noise made by someone registering disgust. The sort of exclamation made when, for example, someone steps in dog poo in the park.

      Like the UK, we in the USA are dismayed by how much we import from you and, as part of our mission to ‘bring manufacturing home’ we will be investing in ‘Madenin the USA’ and discouraging imports particularly from the ‘Yeuh’ and China.

    8. Stred
      March 27, 2021

      The above from the US hows just how nasty the Democrats behind Biden are. Of course, it won’t be long until he is pushed off after he can’t read his lines and falls over too often. Still, it suits Johnson to have our main ally on the Bright Blue track to Green disaster.

      1. Bj
        March 27, 2021

        Do you have many US servicemen based in Peru?

    9. Andy
      March 27, 2021

      No, we can’t sell shellfish. The EU has long since had a ban on imports from third counties. The people in government – like Mr Eustice – who have spent their political lives demanding we be a third country are now outraged the EU is treating us like a third country.

      It is quite funny – particularly as many fishermen voted to leave because they hated EU red tape which, amusingly, allowed them to sell their goods. Ah well. So long as my taxes don’t bail them out I really don’t care.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 27, 2021

        “The EU has long since had a ban on imports from third counties.”

        Wrong.

        https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/03/13/goldilocks-policy/#comment-1215808

        “On the shellfish Richard North, who is no friend of this government or of its “bodged”Brexit, has argued that the EU is breaking WTO rules as well as its own rules … ”

        “Complicated stuff, and all about something worth perhaps 0.0006% of GDP.”

      2. jon livesey
        March 27, 2021

        More fabrications from Andy. No, there is no shellfish ban from third countries. There is not even a shellfish ban from the UK.

        Shellfish production has two stages. In the first stage you harvest the raw shellfish. In the second stage you process the shellfish in purification tanks prior to delivery to the consumer.

        Pre-Brexit the UK sent raw shellfish to EU countries where it was processed. Post-Brexit the EU will accept fully processed shellfish, but not harvested but unpurified shellfish. The UK is exporting fully processed shellfish to the EU *right* *now*. As time goes on, the UK will build more purification plant and export more and more fully processed product.

        I think that people have to start noticing that Andy isn’t just posting strong opinions. He is also posting false factual claims.

    10. Tad Davison
      March 27, 2021

      I agree it is desirable to have a good relationship with the EU, but good will is a two-way street. Once the EU have stopped having a grump at the UK’s temerity for leaving the union, and once they have worked out how they are going to pay for all their fancy projects without our cash, maybe they’ll come to their senses. Not perhaps yet a while though. The crazy people are still running the EU asylum.

  7. Sea_Warrior
    March 27, 2021

    The tone of your second paragraph made me think that you are a ‘dove’ on China, Sir John. Our policy should be guided by a clear FCO understanding of the nature of the Chinese Communist regime. To my mind, the regime is, and behaves, worse than Hitler’s government in 1933 – and we know how well that turned out for the world. We – and by we, I mean the Free World – need to make ourselves resilient against all forms Chinese power (diplomatic, economic, military and information). And as for the sanctions imposed by Raab, they represented a pulled punch. They should have been applied further up the CCP.s chain of command. And then downwards, against the hundreds of millions of China’s middle class. Tolerance by them of China’s CCP is the ‘centre of gravity’ we should be working against. China’s treatment of the country’s muslims is bad, but I care more about the suppression of Christianity throughout the country and the destruction of democracy in Hong Kong.
    P.S. How many Chinese diplomats will be working inside the new London mega-embassy? How many of those will be spies? How many of them will be engaged in surveillance of Chinese students in British universities?

    1. DavidJ
      March 27, 2021

      +1

  8. Alan Jutson
    March 27, 2021

    Amazing how many of Trump’s policy ideas are now being tentitively supported by Biden.

    In the past it was assumed by many that outsourcing work abroad was good for the economy, because it kept prices low, now we are finding out to our cost, that the benefits of keeping such work in house gives us far more flexibility and control over its supply and design copyrights than was previously thought.
    Many private companies have now found this out rather late and to their cost, about time our Government learn’t the same lesson.
    We do not want more interconnections with Europe for power, we need more power production here in the UK.
    We do not want more postal votes but less, we want a controlled immigration programme, not a free for all.
    We need to encourage business to set up and stay in the UK, and not try to milk them dry with ever increasing taxation.

    1. turboterrier
      March 27, 2021

      Alan Jutson

      Well said Alan . All points very relevant.

    2. Tad Davison
      March 27, 2021

      Excellent

    3. hefner
      March 27, 2021

      So AJ, please can you tell what should be done about the £170m required by Sanjeev Gupta to save the UK third largest steel maker, Liberty Steel?
      And if your answer is to save the company and its 3,000 jobs please tell us how the British taxpayer is to avoid getting ‘milked dry’.

      1. Alan Jutson
        March 27, 2021

        The steelworks is failing through lack of orders we are told so:
        Perhaps the answer is for the Government to specify the use of British made steel in all of the construction projects it funds.
        Railways, bridges, ship building, re- bar, safety barriers, etc, etc.

        Trade not aid can help business here, not just helping aid for abroad.
        Those workers then still remain employed, pay taxes, and also spend their wages in the UK.

    4. John Hatfield
      March 27, 2021

      Said Alan!

    5. Pauline Baxter
      March 27, 2021

      Agreed Alan.
      Control over it’s design. Not half. It’s very noticeable how over the years quality of design has diminished.
      I thought it was Chinese goods that were cr*p. Then I realised it was also those from the EU.

    6. Timaction
      March 27, 2021

      Indeed. It has long been in our National interest to produce our own in case we are held to ransome by the EU. Well they already have during recent negotiations. Governments green obsession should be trumped by our energy needs. Useless Torys after 11 years in office. Preti Useless plan to tackle all types of immigration is also a non starter no matter how she tries to paint it.

    7. DavidJ
      March 27, 2021

      Indeed Alan.

    8. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      Outsourcing works for private industry as they indeed can keep costs low. Witness the rag industry. But when you start outsourcing public services and even how one is governed then it is not.

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    March 27, 2021

    I cant think why but any talk of aggression/friction between the USA, China and Russia fills me with apprehension.

    1. Baltimore
      March 27, 2021

      The present day leaders Of Russia and China are not going to be there forrver so looks like the gas pipeline is going to outlive them. My contention is that by the year 2050 both Russia and China with Japan could be part of a new northern hemisphere economic zone along with the EU- the new world order will gave arrived later to include North American countries

  10. Nig l
    March 27, 2021

    Virtue signalling from politicians quite happy to do business with dictatorships where people get stoned to death, hands chopped off and women treated as chattels. Politicians who have and continue to ignore the annexation of Tibet. Biden purely playing to a domestic audience and like Trump trying to on shore production to support a flagging manufacturing sector.

    Sell vast amounts of arms to some very nasty people to keep our U.K. industries going.

    Equally happy to take vast amounts if Chinese money into universities, infrastructure funding etc.

    You double standards make me sick. Of course we will and have to continue to trade with China. The consequences to our economy would be catastrophic with no evidence that it would have any effect on China at all.

    If we have any chance, throw away megaphone. No one least of all the Chinese where ‘face’ is important will accept being shouted at.

  11. Mark B
    March 27, 2021

    Good morning.

    So what’s changed ? We could go back to any point in time, to any part of the planet and see much the same. The question is, how does one deal with it ? Well, to be frank, I am with the German’s on this. We need to look after our own interests as the future is East not West. That does not mean we should kowtow to China or indeed anyone, but it should not preclude us from doing business with them. After all, we do business with other nations with pretty rum characters as Heads of State, so I see no problem.

    1. Mark B
      March 27, 2021

      Addendum and off-topic

      I just got my Council Tax Bill. It reads :

      Council Charge 1.5% increase.

      Adult Social Care 3% increase

      Greater London Authority 9.5% increase

      Annual Charge for this financial year 5.4% increase

      Above inflation at an average of 4.85%

      I shall leave others to comment.

      1. Dave Andrews
        March 27, 2021

        How I wish there were councillor candidates who stood for driving down council costs and improving efficiency, with ideas on how to achieve this.
        Usually, they all have ideas on what they want to do to spend more.
        We have elections coming up soon, but I doubt there will be anyone worth voting for.

      2. MWB
        March 27, 2021

        No increases at all in Scotland.

        1. Alan Jutson
          March 27, 2021

          MWB

          Probably no increases needed because the English taxpayer is funding Scotland with ever more money, so the SNP can then bribe to voters to keep them in power

      3. Lifelogic
        March 27, 2021

        Quality of services actually provided nearly all in serious decline too. Though still often quite efficient at mugging and milking motorists even though many of the roads now blocked with little used bike and bus lanes.

      4. Christine
        March 27, 2021

        My Council Tax bill has increased by over 10%. Why, when they have hardly provided any services for the last year? For my Spanish property, my annual bill is less than one month’s bill here. I expect we are paying huge salaries to their chief executives. People are going to be rightly annoyed when many are suffering financially and they see the public sector being profligate.

      5. Hu
        March 27, 2021

        I essentially pay £2k p.a for refuse collection. The other services are deficient or not needed.

        Reply Do you ever use the roads and pavements? Might you seek social service help in old age or infirmity? We do all benefit from the neighbours children receiving an education. I agree some Councils waste loads of money and do too many things the majority do not want.

        1. Ju
          March 27, 2021

          All deficient services. Happy to fund decent services. I don’t benefit from state propaganda fed into impressionable young minds.

        2. Hope
          March 27, 2021

          JR, get real and be factual. Old age, why the extra bill for adult social care in council tax as well as being forced to sell your home?

          What is Vehicle tax for? Are you confirming it is general taxation but added to cars for govt. deceit? Fuel duty the same? I thought these huge taxes were for roads?

          How many times do we have to be taxed for the same thing by your govt? Please explain another add on in council tax for rivers authority. In 1997 river responsibility was taken from councils for Environment Agency. We now for both under two tax funding streams!

          1. Fred.H
            March 27, 2021

            and Libraries – almost none open since last April, in fact 23 Wokingham staff diverted to other tasks which were what? Pot holes still horrendous – even the A329 from Winnersh/Lower Earley roundabout to Wokingham Town Centre – go drive it.
            Police – where are they, never see any. Ah – do see some checking/ reloading speed cameras or installing ANPR.

      6. maction
        March 27, 2021

        Mine was 5%. I’ve written to my Council and Councillors accordingly. Their stupidity and ignorance knows no bounds. Adult social care up 8 fold since 2016. All working from home doing nothing.

      7. glen cullen
        March 28, 2021

        Its about time councils where funded centrally by general taxation and the council tax scraped

    2. turboterrier
      March 27, 2021

      Mark B

      Exactly Mark. Everyone first after us. If it’s good for UK.plc do it

  12. Ian Wragg
    March 27, 2021

    Germany will continue to do as it pleases whilst making the right noises on climate change.
    Maybe like most of us they realise itsa scam intended to deindustrialise the west to the advantage of the East.
    Building more coal fired power stations and Importing cheap Russian gas will power the industrial base.
    We should adopt similar policies.
    Biden isn’t capable of understanding these policies, who’s pulling the strings.

    1. turboterrier
      March 27, 2021

      Ian Wragg
      +1

    2. Pauline Baxter
      March 27, 2021

      ‘Biden isn’t capable of understanding these policies, whose pulling the strings’. That’s more or less how I feel about Boris Johnson.
      Climate change is a scam – agreed.
      Building more coal fired power stations, yes and/or nucleur power. There’s still fracking and some north sea oil/gas.
      Funny how Germany has the right ideas and somehow Britain is always slow to catch on.
      Incidentally, re nucleur power, Australia has plenty of uranium.
      China has virtually a monopoly on sources of rare earth minerals necessary for E.V. batteries. Boris, of course thinks they can be magicked out of thin air.

      1. DavidJ
        March 27, 2021

        +1

    3. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      +1

  13. Richard1
    March 27, 2021

    The most positive thing about the new US Administration is its desire to work with allies. Trump woke up the world to the massive threat of the Chinese communist party, but did little to coordinate international action to confront it’s evils. We should absolutely support Biden’s approach. No country in the western alliance should be making deals with China while the CCP attacks on our ally Australia continue, while Hong Kong is crushed in defiance of treaties, while apalling human rights abuses are perpetrated eg against the Uighar Muslims (Q: how come we don’t hear from all the Islamic countries on this?), and while a threat to world peace is made over Taiwan.

    Let’s hope Biden sticks to a tough line and succeeds in forcing the EU and others to realise which side their bread is buttered.

    1. John O'Leary
      March 27, 2021

      Biden is Harris’s glove puppet and she can’t control it very well. He is not capable of forming an opinion now, if he ever was. Effectively the USA has a communist leader who is even less likeable than Xi Jinping.

    2. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      President Trump was not one of the International Establishment, so he was lambasted by others. They alienated him.

  14. oldtimer
    March 27, 2021

    Lines have been drawn between China, Russia and Iran on the one side and the USA with assorted allies on the other on several issues. Among them are wars for control in the Middle East, control of raw material resources around the world, attempts to establish an international payments system that bypasses SWIFT and US sanctions and the ultimate aim to displace the US dollar as the international reserve currency. The UK needs to pursue the course that protects its interests. These include an ability to trade around the globe (making its own agreements when they are mutually beneficial), freedom of navigation on international seaways, respect for international agreements, avoidance of dependence on single source suppliers for essential products where that can be achieved. The UK needs to build its own network of like minded countries to form alliances that protect and promote these interests. More often than not these will align with US interests; but this will not necessarily always be the case.

  15. Frances Truscott
    March 27, 2021

    Us spokesperson. With that attitude the next time you want back up from the uk you can go whistle.
    We don’t want meat from you either. The welfare standards are poor.
    The answer to China anyway is let’s not buy their goods at all ,ever. If every major economy did that they would feel it.
    Putins Russia is taking over the Eu with the pipeline. They can just turn it off. At some point
    Putin and pals will just get old. He can never retire of course. He wouldn’t survive.

  16. Nig l
    March 27, 2021

    And in other news it is quoted that a steel magnate is seeking emergency loans of 150 million, the same magnate that allegedly via Greensill took out 2 billion not that long ago.

    With Greensill now in administration and the U.K. already potentially on the hook for furlough money and Covid loans, this loan request must be resisted. Using job losses in an industry already uncompetitive and over supplied world wide as blackmail is unacceptable.

    1. MiC
      March 27, 2021

      It’s lost its European Union customers, that is the problem.

      But Rotherham voted Leave 68:32, so there’s learning about consequences, if they will.

      1. jon livesey
        March 27, 2021

        As usual, you are simply making this stuff up. In reality Gupta is running a multi-national company that produces in many countries, including the EU. France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said this week that his government would step in to protect jobs at GFG’s French sites.

  17. Peter
    March 27, 2021

    ‘Where the UK should now position its foreign policy towards China’ is academic. It will be for the benefit of UK newspapers and the British general public only.

    We are beholden to China now. They own significant real estate and assets in the U.K. We have turned to them for important technology and financing of big developments. I am not sure how easy it is to change this – or even if there is a will to do so.

  18. George Brooks.
    March 27, 2021

    Global Britain is just fine, US Spokesperson, and yes, we are selling our shellfish. The EU just wanted us to wash it before bringing it over. However being 3000+ miles away you may not have noticed that restaurants in the EU are shut due to the pandemic therefore volume is down at present.

  19. No Longer Anonymous
    March 27, 2021

    Sorry. Meant to say “4 years of Trump and *no* wars – except the usual kick off from the Left who never accept a democratic result.”

    Trump turns out to have been the most peaceful President in decades.

    1. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      +1

      He adopted an America First policy. Something I wish our lot would do, especially regarding the EU.

  20. Nig l
    March 27, 2021

    Both Times and Telegraph are reporting about a vaccine deal with the EU I guess off the back of well informed briefings. Looks like Boris is scrambling to get political cover for, in effect another climb down to the EU. We will,see!

  21. turboterrier
    March 27, 2021

    With all the posturing and covert threats being made by so called world leaders which could easily end up in tears of massive proportions this country before attempting to join all the participants on the high wire should take stock get it’s own house in order stop the billions being wasted every year on someone’s dream projects and the public administration support structures being called upon at every level . The EU are playing real hard ball with this country and we do nothing to address this. The last POTUS battle cry America first, we need the same vision from our leader and we sure as hell ain’t going to get that. Too bogged down by Climate Change Crap, BLM issues, NHS covid fall out and the list goes on.
    Give us a vision and belief we can sign on and stand behind. Not a lot to ask. We are the poor taxpaying sods who will be footing the bill whatever happens.

    1. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      Hear hear !!

  22. Bryan Harris
    March 27, 2021

    Where Trump brought peace and reconciliation Biden brings conflict and chaos.

    Socialism has never ever brought us a better world

    1. MiC
      March 27, 2021

      He hardly brought it to his very own country, did he?

      Thanks for the laugh.

      1. Bryan Harris
        March 28, 2021

        What nonsense you come up with – He was up against the democrat deep state who were causing all the trouble – He did a darned sight better than obama ever did, and Biden ever will

  23. GilesB
    March 27, 2021

    The US hegemony is over. A multi-polar world will be very different.

    Friendships, and friendliness, will be much more important. We don’t have to choose – we can have good relations with everyone. If need be, less close to those who demand too much.

    Keep trade, diplomacy and exercise of soft power separate.

    Do not comment on the affairs of other nations in public for the benefit of a domestic audience. Friendly in public, balanced with strong views given in private meetings, is much more effective.

    It can take years to build trust, and only a moment to destroy. It’s particularly a problem for Western democracies where the Government can change dramatically from election to election. Other countries have to rely on the nature of the relationship with the entire country not the one individual who as Prime Minister they may have only just become aware of. An advantage of ‘Dictators for life’ is that other countries know what they are dealing with

  24. Dave Andrews
    March 27, 2021

    If anyone thinks they will boycott Chinese goods, remember that to replace them with British made is going to cost a lot more. The UK company has to pay its employees enough to afford a place to live plus their pile of tax on top, and then the further pile of tax the company has to pay as well.
    As to Russia, let’s not forget their activity in Salisbury.

    1. Fred.H
      March 27, 2021

      Putin poses rather more serious threats than killing a handful of ‘traitors ‘ as he labels them.

    2. DavidJ
      March 27, 2021

      Higher cost for sure but a much longer life and more employment at home. Well worth it in my view.

    3. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      If our kind host allows. NB I have no personal or financial connection, I just want people to know that we still make excellent, high quality products and reasonable prices.

      https://www.stirlingengine.co.uk/aboutus.asp

  25. Hat man
    March 27, 2021

    You’re talking, SJR, as if Joe Biden was running things. At the stage of cognitive decline he’s in now, he frankly couldn’t run the proverbial bath. You only need to listen to his press conference this week. His handlers – Atlantic Council, CFR and others – were temporarily restrained under Trump, now they’ve got free rein to go back to war-mongering as before. And they’re making it clear to GB and the EU what our role is – servants to the master. Who’s surprised?

    Reply I work on the assumption in a democracy that those with the job titles are responsible and can control or change things if they wish. They can certainly be removed if they displease or are ineffective. Mr Biden has appointed many powerful people to important jobs and can always remove them if they cease to please.

    1. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      Reply to reply

      It isn’t the powerful people in important jobs that worry me, it is the man at the top and the big red shiny button that sits on his desk. The last thing I want is for him to ask, “I wonder what this does ?”

  26. Stephen Reay
    March 27, 2021

    Boris has the right policy of trading with them ,but not getting to close to them

    1. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      Ageed. We trade. End of !

  27. graham1946
    March 27, 2021

    One thing the anti Trump brigade cannot dispute is that he never took the West into any more foreign wars. He tried his best to lower tensions. Looks like Biden is going to reverse that and China reckons the USA is all washed up, so stand by. Taiwan is going to be the testing ground. Let the ‘miniscule’ UK keep out of it and let Biden see just how reliable his buddies in the EU are when it comes down to serious matters.

    1. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      +1

  28. Dominic Johnson
    March 27, 2021

    Russia is far away and so poor it is marginally above famine
    Considering a geopolitical threat to the UK is like sanctioning a rabid squirrel, on another continent.
    Russia isnt raiding warehouses and contaminating our vaccines.

    China is simply above us, if you want to be a “force for good” you need to be a force, and we simply aren’t.
    Uk gdp is 2.5trn dollars and hasnt grown for a decade.
    Chinese GDP grows by that every three years
    China isn’t threatening to arm terrorists in Northern Ireland, etc ed

    Neither of these supposed issues are anything to do with us.

    We are a small island far away

    1. Dennis
      March 27, 2021

      +1

  29. Everhopeful
    March 27, 2021

    If because of the UK’s stupidity, China became the predominant manufacturer and producer of all our necessities ( cheap ones giving UK middlemen HUGE profits) then we have no alternative but to get on with them!
    Until we get our industrial act together.
    We did it once……

    1. Stred
      March 27, 2021

      I recently had to change my thirty year old double oven with a similar one and it will probably last ten years with luck. My washing machine is also thirty years old and my ex tells me that she has replaced hers five times in the same time. My dishwasher is thirty five years old and still going strong. One that I bought for a rental house caught fire after a year. It was made in China.
      The others were all made in the UK ,Italy and Sweden. The top quality washing machines that my ex bought and lasted five years are made with Chinese parts.
      If we regulated quality to last longer and be repairable at reasonable cost, we could manufacture at home and save money.

      1. Dennis
        March 27, 2021

        What and increase unemployment? Crap production keeps industry ticking over – it’s the way to go. You know it makes sense. My car winkers are on the blink – will cost £150 to fix. Using hand signals at present but not sure anyone understands them these days.

        1. Fred.H
          March 27, 2021

          You are inviting road rage – waving arms about through your car window.
          Someone will get really upset at you.

      2. DavidJ
        March 27, 2021

        +1

      3. MiC
        March 28, 2021

        This Tory country cannot even regulate, inspect, and enforce to prevent buildings from being fire death traps.

        What world do you inhabit?

  30. hefner
    March 27, 2021

    O/T for anybody interested in those things, Brendan Greeley, FT Alphaville, 25/03/2021 ‘The bank effect and the big boat blocking Suez’.

  31. ian@Barkham
    March 27, 2021

    “project gets in the way of EU climate change objectives” In practice and in deed that is not how the EU sees it- that is just the rules and laws the EU wants to subject others to. That’s why they see stealing vaccines from those that had the foresight to spend 10 times the amount the EU Commission thought each EU life was worth. After all they can threaten the lives of others rather address the problem that they alone created.
    Its all about the rules or the laws they create, not about solving situations for humanity.
    Friends don’t threaten friends, they ask for help and usually get it.
    As usual the EU Commission will be exonerated, they have threatened the UK Government with death of its citizens and forced the UK into talking about giving them what they want – that’s a win. UK deaths will climb unnecessarily as the product of the UK Governments and UK taxpayer funding will be dispersed to the EU and called compromise. The EU doesn’t have to spend money, they don’t have to gamble, they can just threaten when others have something they want.
    That is why they hold Putin and Xi Jinping with such high regards and they will still do the deals with these guys.

    1. Mark B
      March 28, 2021

      Spot on. Spot on !

  32. formula57
    March 27, 2021

    We ought to be as friendly to China as we can be given its power in the world, without compromising our values and keeping in view that it may well act against our interests from time to time, even with the intent of harming us, as it has done to Australia in recent years.

    China’s tremendous economic liberalization begun under Deng Xiaoping that has seen its rise to become a global power has not of course been matched by political liberalization and there is apparently not much appetite amongst its people for democracy. That is going to present challenges, clearly, and it would be nice if our own foreign office woke up to refuting the governance model offered by China to developing countries.

    (It would also be a joy if our own foreign office woke up to the virtues of explaining to the people’s of the Evil Empire why we left, thereby to refute the damaging lies advanced by the eurocrats and others. I do of course know (from Jim Hacker) that the foreign office is not there to do anything, rather it explains why nothing can be done.)

  33. Andy
    March 27, 2021

    China is – quite literally – running concentration camps in which it is doing heaven knows what to its own people. We should not be dealing with such a country.

    But Little Britain has zero impact alone in the world. We are too small and irrelevant. Morally we should stop all trade and all dealings with China but this would be a meaningless and self defeating gesture if we did it alone. It would be like Coventry deciding to stop trading with the rest of the UK.

    We need the EU, US, Canada, Australia and other rich western countries to act together. We all need to stop buying Chinese goods. That would really hurt China. But it would also hurt all of us. It would mess up supply chains, limit consumer choice and increase prices. It is the people at the bottom in our own countries who would suffer. The irony of globalisation is that those who moan most about it also rely on it most.

    1. Fred.H
      March 27, 2021

      When in a hole stop digging.

    2. Mike Wilson
      March 27, 2021

      I am really struggling to think to what extent I rely on imports from China.

  34. Stred
    March 27, 2021

    The CCP will laugh at Biden. They know him and his family well.

  35. DOM
    March 27, 2021

    Biden will use foreign wars for many purposes but one of them will be to deflect attention away from his party’s war against the US, its constitution, its democratic institutions, its values and the American peoples long held freedoms. The Democrats will construct an all powerful client state in the same way Labour have done in the UK that now controls both Tory party policy at home

    And China, it will subsume Taiwan. It will stoke division in the west using the CCP. China will drag the west into an abyss, in time. Marxist ideology is the real cancer that’s been eating at the heart of liberal democracy for decades and it’s finally gaining the upper hand as we can with Johnson and SAGE with various advisers having declared their Marxist tendencies. That these people are treated with professional courtesy is an abhorrence

    The Tories simply refuse to align themselves with the politics of freedom, individualism, the free market and a small State. Why? Because it’s disadvantageous to their party’s success. A free-lunch parasitic approach appears to work, in the short term at least

  36. William Long
    March 27, 2021

    I would have thought our experience of the EU, and if nothing else its recent behaviour regarding vaccines, should have taught us that we should never again let ourselves be dependent on another nation, particularly potentially hostile ones, such as China, Russia (how much of our gas will come from Nord Stream 2?) or ‘our friends’ in Europe. This means having a foreign policy that is backed up by domestic capability, both economic and military, and not just hot air. Sadly, the recently announced further cuts in our military capability do not give much grounds for hope in that direction, but perhaps the vaccine situation is getting the message across as far as producing more of what we need at home is concerned.

    1. DavidJ
      March 27, 2021

      +1

  37. Andy
    March 27, 2021

    There is a very sad piece in the Times online today about mostly elderly Britons who retired to Spain now being forced to leave because their 90 days is up. Under the Brexit deal terms they can only spend 90 days at a time in the EU – and they can then not return to Europe for at least 90 more days.

    Some of the people The Times interviewed voted to Leave. Seemingly unaware that free movement ending applied to them to. Frankly, I have zero sympathy for these people. If their dreams end – hard luck. I have much sympathy for those who had their rights removed without voting for it.

    I am the owner of a property in France and am unable – because of this Tory government which most of us do not vote for – to enjoy my property as I wish. I wonder if I can sue my MP for the loss I have suffered. There are plenty of us out there and the only way to deal with these thieves is to hurt them back.

    1. Pauline Baxter
      March 27, 2021

      Oh dear. Hard luck you can’t enjoy your property in France (not). How many years is it since the referendum? Were you in suspended animation or something that you didn’t sell?

      1. Andy
        March 27, 2021

        Why should I have to sell something I worked hard for and which I love just because a bunch of old people are bigoted and xenophobic?

    2. Sea_Warrior
      March 27, 2021

      One would have thought that people ‘retiring’ to Spain have had ample time to sort out residence.

    3. Richard1
      March 27, 2021

      What are you talking about. If you want permanent residency in France apply for it. So long as you aren’t a criminal and don’t plan to be a burden on French taxpayers – and frankly we don’t want to allow you to do that – they will be fine with you staying there. Just like the millions of EU and other citizens who live in the U.K.

    4. Fedupsoutherner
      March 27, 2021

      Getting residency is the answer. It’s very simple. You just have to make up your mind whee you want to call home. If these people have retired in Spain then why not become a resident? Too many of them want the good life out there and all the perks of free medical care back in Blighty when something goes wrong. We saw it numerous times. There is no commitment.

    5. jon livesey
      March 27, 2021

      According to the UK Government website and the Spanish Government, If you were legally resident in Spain before 1 January 2021 than your right to stay in Spain is fully protected and all you have to do is register by filling out a form.

      The claims Andy is making here about 90 days is about how long you can stay in Spain if you decide *not* to apply for residency.

      Seriously, Andy is complaining that if you yourself make a conscious decision not to be a legal resident of Spain, then, astonishingly, you will not be a legal resident of Spain and will have to leave periodically.

    6. Fred.H
      March 27, 2021

      Tragic.

    7. Baltimore
      March 27, 2021

      I am irish, a resident of ROI and have full rights of travel and residence in Ireland Uk or any of the EU countries- free as a bird- the only thing holding me up now are these blasted pandemic restrictions’ but hopefully for only another few months

    8. Mike Wilson
      March 28, 2021

      You appear to be misinformed. People who retired to Spain can continue to live there. It is only pesky second home owners who can only stay for 3 months at a time. You should be grateful they allow British ……. half ex-pats to buy up their property at all.

  38. Margaret Brandreth-
    March 27, 2021

    Do we actually have to agree with anybody to get along and trade. Sanctions sometimes are counter productive especially when a little less alpha could influence the many.

  39. Christine
    March 27, 2021

    We need to take advantage of our superb vaccine rollout and lift the lockdown now. Our Government is far too cautious and has no vision. It just constantly reacts and U-turns. We are held prisoners in our country and yet the COP26 event and the Global Investment Summit are still going ahead. It seems safe for the elites to swan around the world, why not us?

    We need to concentrate on rebuilding our own country, not getting into expensive pointless arguments with the new world superpower that the greedy western countries helped create. Revolutions happen from within not via sanctions. For once just take a back seat and fix things at home.

  40. Original Richard
    March 27, 2021

    “Last week the USA persuaded the EU to put its name to sanctions against Chinese officials and to make a statement condemning China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslims”

    But no Muslim country has done likewise.

    1. SM
      March 27, 2021

      I don’t usually recommend The Guardian newspaper, but a very good article by Nick Cohen on Islamic nations’ silence about the Uighurs was published on 4 July 2020 and is well worth reading.

    2. Mike Wilson
      March 28, 2021

      Muslim countries have got better things to do than making pointless complaints about China. If you don’t like how China carries on, don’t buy goods made there. Although, of course, lots of Western companies manufacture there. Where are iPhones made?

  41. Pauline Baxter
    March 27, 2021

    Basically Sir John, I believe we were right to allow Hong Kong Chinese, entry to UK, because of our past commitments to them. Taiwan, as far as I know is nothing to do with us. Nor are the poor Muslims being targeted by the CCP.
    Communist China probably is a growing threat to Britain and others in the west. We should ensure we are not dependent on them for any goods or services and keep them completely out of any of our digital technology.
    That is in line with our general desire for Britain to be self sufficient in Energy, to produce far more of our own goods, to import less, export more and trade with trustworthy allies on mutually beneficial terms.
    Trustworthy allies does NOT include the EU. They never were ‘our friends’.
    I wouldn’t trust Biden further than I could throw him but that is the U.S.A.’s problem not ours!

    1. MiC
      March 28, 2021

      Well it takes two to be friends, doesn’t it? And where were you all along eh?

  42. ian@Barkham
    March 27, 2021

    The important of true Independence and cooperating with mutual like minded Nations.
    I noted a couple of days back a family friend in his early 40’s working for a UK Company but based for the moment at their US Outlet had been given an appointment for his Covid Jab in early April. This has now changed and brought forward, its now next week. It has also been announced that the State has opened its booking facility to any one and ‘everyone’ for the jab.
    It highlights many things but the importance of being in full control of what you get to do inside your own domain is always an advantage.
    You can only improve the health and the wealth of a Nation, when enable their freedom. It is those freedoms that permit generosity and compassion.
    Being reliant on the EU or for that matter China for anything is not reliance or friendship it is being held hostage. As with the EU as Sir John is reported as saying elsewhere “The EU should spend less time arguing over how to share out the vaccines we can make and more time ensuring more vaccines are made.” Or in my words seeking blame instead of doing is lunacy

  43. jon livesey
    March 27, 2021

    You could write this piece every four or eight years, with a different President’s name and a different country as main threat to World peace. Every time there is a new US President we – really the press – go through this soul searching about whether he will like us or if he will like the EU more. It’s an idiotic process, because alliances do not depend on personal likes and dislikes, but on how useful countries can be to one another.

    What is really changing is that after most of a century of safe, predictable, American hegemony, we are moving back to a multi-polar World. Power relationships are going to change quite fast. We will be so busy keeping track of what’s going on that anyone who even says the word “Ireland” will be treated as some sort of idiot with a weird historical obsession with tiny romantic issues.

    As for the UK and China, assuming that China does not start a war, which would be a stupid way of interrupting their own development, we’ll be an integral part of their trade network and we’ll see a little Hong Kong in London. What we won’t be doing is taking place in some crusade to change them.

  44. Iago
    March 27, 2021

    The government is presently abolishing the country – no free speech, no borders and very soon, paradoxically, no freedom of movement without an electronic pass.
    While you are at it, would you abolish British Summer Time as well? It would make life easier for the population. But you will have to hurry, before the dawn call to prayer is introduced.

  45. Lindsay McDougall
    March 27, 2021

    One of the consequences of Brexit is that the UK will no longer fulfil the role that Dean Acheson and subsequent Democrats have wished, namely that we act as America’s Trojan horse within Europe. The EU will act in its own interests, not those of America. The EU will point out that NATO is a purely defensive alliance, not a military organisation designed to support the whole of American foreign policy (including ground troops on the soil of third countries, which is not defensive). The EU will take gas from Russia if it is the cheapest and most plentiful source of supply. And Germany will be reluctant to give up its market in China for its top Mercedes models. In short, the EU will reject Pax Americana and perhaps we should do the same. For a medium sized nation, the Government’s recent defence review exhibited delusions of grandeur. Any military action by us in Indo Pacific waters and near Australia can only be as a support to American action. It is closer to home that we can have an independent defence and foreign policy. For example, are we serious about retaining Northern Ireland and Gibraltar in the fact of hostility from the Republic of Ireland, Spain and the EU?

    1. jon livesey
      March 27, 2021

      NATO came into existence at Europe’s request. The US had already withdrawn its troops from Europe outside Germany when the Europeans concluded, in 1948, that they could not defend themselves.

      If the EU decides to withdraw from its American alliance, that will make them a much softer target for blackmail and aggression from authoritarian states. If they decide to defend themselves, it will cost them gigantic amounts of money and a long time just to get back to where they are today.

      And if they actually make such a catastrophic strategic error, that will just make the UK-US alliance that much more valuable for the UK.

      Common sense ought to tell you that the UK has not gone through the lengthy process of Brexit just to become more entangled with Europe.

      1. Lindsay McDougall
        March 28, 2021

        I’d quite like us to become less entangled with both the USA and the EU. Maybe we should regard Russia as less of a bogeyman than we have in the past. The Red Army in Eastern Europe was an army of occupation and probably not a threat to Western Europe. It was the USA that helped to put paid to the British Empire through the betrayal of Eisenhower and Dulles at Suez. Putin won’t last for ever. The core of Russian foreign policy is that they don’t want adjacent countries to be actively hostile. That’s perfectly reasonable and it will outlast Putin. We should understand how difficult it is to govern Russia, a Eurasian nation straddling nine time zones, sparsely populated with extremely cold winters. The language of pluralism, choice and competition does not come easily to Russia – how many trans-Siberian railway lines do you want? I yield to no man in my love of capitalism and a small State but foreign policy is about the UK’s interests as a nation, not economic ideology.
        To be constructive, we s
        hould play our part in containing China and trying to get China to modify its behaviour. Militarily, I would love us to contribute to the defence of Japan and South Korea but we must be realistic. Our role will be to support the USA in that endeavour.

  46. glen cullen
    March 27, 2021

    Pop.68m – 58 deaths today
    and our politicians have just voted in another 6 months of restrictions, lockdowns and extra powers – why?

    1. jon livesey
      March 27, 2021

      Because nearby European countries are seeing 3-400 deaths a day. Next question?

      1. glen cullen
        March 28, 2021

        190 France, 101 Germany, 36 Belgium – worldometers.info

        No single country in Europe had a death rate yesterday of 400

        Next question – Why are you exaggerating the data ?

    2. Fred.H
      March 27, 2021

      but deaths due to cancers continue at about 450 every day.
      Covid and NHS activities will have caused a massive increase in this figure as months go by.

  47. glen cullen
    March 27, 2021

    Three small boats with 77 people on board reached the UK after crossing the English Channel on Thursday, the Home Office said

    Has this goernment no shame

    1. The Prangwizard
      March 27, 2021

      No.

  48. DavidJ
    March 27, 2021

    We have become far too dependent on Chinese products which are often of unacceptable quality. We must protect and rebuild our own manufacturing capacity and apply appropriate tariffs to such foreign goods. I would be happy to pay more for home manufactured products of decent quality, but most have been displaced by inferior imports supported by retailers too focused on low prices.

  49. Mike Wilson
    March 28, 2021

    Mr. Redwood, I wonder if you could explain why students in Scotland pay no fees to go to University, nurses are getting. 4% pay rise and there are no council tax rises. How do they do it? It can’t be the relatively small amount of public spending per head.

    1. glen cullen
      March 28, 2021

      Because our MPs manufactured and allowed the madcap idea of limited yet staged increases in devolution to Scotland, another system in NI and yet another system in Wales ? To say the constitution of the union is fragmented is an understatement.

  50. anon
    March 29, 2021

    The UK needs to build back its independence. Any dependencies should be on suppliers who have proven reliable trade partners and do not leverage that into political control. Germany clearly do not see Russia as a threat but as an energy partner of low cost relatively green power. They see China as an export market.

    Any countries where we have substantial import imblance dependency should be subject of economic policy to mitigate and balance.

    All public contracts should prioritize UK based production where this is available or a balanced trade partner.

    We don’t appear yet to have achieved independence from the EU and it UK 5th column, never mind other embedded vested interests.

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