Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Getting Personal in the UK

And you thought American politics were raucous.

The leader of the UK Independence Party has broken up with his girlfriend following revelations of her shocking comments about American actress Meghan Markle.

“I don’t defend these comments whatsoever,” UKIP leader Henry Bolton, 54, said on “Good Morning Britain” on Monday.

Bolton said the “romantic side” of his relationship with Jo Marney, a 25-year-old model, ended Sunday night after a “long and upsetting conversation” for both of them.

“At the moment it is obviously quite incompatible to continue the relationship,” he said. But “I’m going to be continuing to support her family because Jo is absolutely distraught by this.”

The split followed an uproar over Facebook messages Marney sent to a friend about Markle, who will marry Prince Harry this spring. Marney described Markle as a “dumb little commoner,” and called black people “ugly.” She also said Markle would “taint” the royal family and pave the way for a “black king.”

When a person responded to the comments by calling them racist, Marney answered: “So what?” the BBC reported.

Sword-Yielding Prius Driver Attacks Police

Yikes.

A man arrested outside Buckingham Palace armed with a 4ft sword repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” as police struggled to subdue him, Scotland Yard has said.

Three unarmed officers were injured – two receiving cuts to their hands – while detaining the man just after 8.30pm on Friday. Police are treating the incident as suspected terrorism.

Scotland Yard said the man drove at a police van just outside Buckingham Palace in a blue Toyota Prius, and stopped in front of it.

Queen Reported for No Seat Belt

Ha!

The Queen has been reported to West Yorkshire Police for not wearing a seat belt in the official car for the State Opening of Parliament.

A 999 call was made by someone saying the monarch was not strapped in while being driven through London.

The phone call was confirmed in a tweet by the West Yorkshire force, which added the hashtags #not999 #notevenwestyorkshire.

Civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Queen in UK law.

Yes, unlike America, there are people who are actually above the law in the UK.

Russia Slams UK for Canceled Meeting

Ouch.

Russia has criticised Boris Johnson’s decision to scrap a planned trip to Moscow after discussions with the US.

The move showed the UK has no “real influence” over world events, Russia’s foreign ministry said.

Mr Johnson said events in Syria had “changed the situation fundamentally” and he would go to G7 talks instead.

UK To Capture and Store Citizens’ Internet History

Sounds like something North Korea or Iran would do.

Internet providers will soon be required to record which services their customers’ devices connect to – including websites and messaging apps.

The Home Office says it will help combat terrorism, but critics have described it as a “snoopers’ charter”.

Critics of the law have said hackers could get access to the records.

“It only takes one bad actor to go in there and get the entire database,” said James Blessing, chairman of the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa), which represents BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and others.

“You can try every conceivable thing in the entire world to [protect it] but somebody will still outsmart you.

“Mistakes will happen. It’s a question of when. Hopefully it’s in tens or maybe a hundred years. But it might be next week.”
The Investigatory Powers Bill was approved by the House of Lords on 19 November and is due to become law before the end of 2016.

Britain Gets a New Prime Minister

Welcome.

Theresa May promised to build a “better Britain” and to make the UK’s EU exit a “success” after she was announced as the new Tory leader and soon-to-be PM.

Speaking outside Parliament, Mrs May said she was “honoured and humbled” to succeed David Cameron, after her only rival in the race withdrew on Monday.

Mr Cameron will tender his resignation to the Queen after PMQs on Wednesday.

Mr Cameron, who has been UK prime minister since 2010, decided to quit after the UK’s Brexit vote.

Paul Ryan Urges Trade Deal with U.K.

Good.

Ryan (R-Wis.) is advocating being aggressive early in establishing deals with Britain.

“Obviously it takes time to do something like this, but I think it is something we should be working on,” Ryan told ABC affiliate WISN in Wisconsin last week, according to comments his office published on the speaker’s website Monday. “We should begin discussions with Great Britain to ease concerns so that we do have a smooth trade relationship with Great Britain because they are our indispensable ally.”

Ryan later added on Wisconsin radio station WBEL that negotiations with Britain should be done on “a parallel track” to ongoing talks with the European Union toward a trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

Ryan, a frequent champion of free trade as a tool to improve foreign relations, isn’t the only lawmaker urging the administration to launch talks with London to ensure the U.S.-U.K. relationship won’t be harmed by British-European divorce proceedings.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a statement Friday soon after the Brexit results were announced that talks should begin now.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced Friday that he would introduce legislation that would require the United States and U.K. to “honor our current arrangements” until new bilateral deals are drafted. It also would direct the U.S. Trade Representative to begin negotiations “as soon as possible.”

There are many reasons that the U.S. should get a trade deal done ASAP. Britain’s relationship with the U.S. deserves respect. We are allies and friends who have supported each other vigorously for over a century. We should be holding our hands out in partnership. But it is also in the U.S.’s best interests. It is almost certain that the EU will seek to punish Britain and throttle Britain’s access to EU markets. Britain still needs a place to sell their goods. There’s no reason that the U.S. can’t benefit from their need in the form of advantageous prices on the things they export (vehicles, mechanical appliances, mineral fuels, pharmaceutical products, electrical equipment, etc.) and a place to sell American goods to replace E.U. goods. Also, by locking in an agreement with Britain right away, it bolsters the U.S.’s bargaining position in the negotiations with the E.U.

Hopefully the Obama Administration recognizes this historic opportunity to benefit both the United States and our ancient partner, Britain.