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Topic: Deep State: Anti-Brexit Civil Servants Tried to Block Australia Trade Deal, Claims Diplomat
posted on 2022-05-05 17:31:44 Post ID: 568

Deep State: Anti-Brexit Civil Servants Tried to Block Australia Trade Deal, Claims Diplomat

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the garden of 10 Downing Street, after agreeing the broad terms of a free trade deal between the UK and Australia, on June 15, 2021 in London, England. The leaders met as … Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images KURT ZINDULKA 5 May 2022

Anti-Brexit bureaucrats in the British deep state attempted to prevent the newly independent United Kingdom from signing a trade deal with Australia, the former Aussie ambassador to London has claimed.

George Brandis, Canberra’s former high commissioner to Britain, said that there was an embedded “hostility” towards reaching a free trade agreement with the Commonwealth nation within the civil service as a result of deep state resentment of Brexit.

“The default position in Whitehall was horror at Brexit,” Brandis told The Spectator on Wednesday.

“It was kind of like a cringe or a crouch, recoiling and willing it not to happen, or being in denial that it was happening,” the diplomat added.

The former ambassador to Britain said that as a result of the intransigence from the bureaucratic deep state in London, there were in a sense “three sides to the trade negotiation,” consisting of the Australians, then-International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, and those opposed to the deal within Whitehall — the seat of power for the Civil Service in the UK.

“The Whitehall establishment wanted to maintain this whole culture of protectionism and that set Whitehall completely at variance from the government’s priority, Brandis said, adding: “We were, in a sense, both fighting Whitehall.”

The Australian diplomat pointed to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as having been the most intransigent of the permanent state, saying: “It was more than inertia, it was reluctance bordering on hostility in some departments – most notably Defra.”

The trade negotiations between Britain and Australia began in earnest in June of 2020, yet despite the economies sharing similar standards, it was not completed until over a year and half later, with tariffs and quotas being placed on Australian livestock proving a sticking point for the negotiations. The deal is expected to increase trade between the two countries by £10.4 billion.

 

Brexit Britain Signs Trade Deal with Australia, Righting ‘Historic Wrong’ https://t.co/PLNn7VCric

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 17, 2021

 

Though a major stated goal of the post-Brexit government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to “drain the swamp” within Whitehall, planned reforms were sidelined to a large degree following the ousting of Johnson’s former top advisor Dominic Cummings over an apparent breach of Chinese coronavirus lockdown restrictions in 2020.

Indeed, the power of the deep state in Britain rose to perhaps its highest level in history during the pandemic, with unelected figures such as Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty and Chief Science Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance taking an outsized role in the lives of ordinary citizens.

Though Prime Minister Boris Johnson was initially said to be in favour of pursuing a herd immunity strategy, the voices of Whitty and Valance ultimately won out and the UK was plunged into some of the harshest lockdown restrictions in the Western world.

Unelected civil servants have also recently become embroiled in a battle with the government over plans to send illegal boat migrants to have their asylum claims processed in the East African nation of Rwanda instead of putting up the aliens in hotels or other taxpayer provided accommodation in Britain.

Last month, it was reported that bureaucrats within the Home Office had threatened to strike in response to the plan, which some government employees likened to Nazi Germany.

 

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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