Paris Peace Accords 23 Oct. 1991

Thursday, April 6, 2017

EU keeps free trade deal with CAMBODIA despite abuse claims - but demands UK must PAY

EU keeps free trade deal with CAMBODIA despite abuse claims - but demands UK must PAY

THE European Union has come under fire for a free trade arrangement with Cambodia despite calls for a human rights abuse probe on the Southeast Asian nation. | 6 April 2017

Currently there are 49 beneficiaries under a European policy known as “Everything But Arms” (EBA).
However, while the EU happily on agreeable terms with 33 African nations, 11 Asian countries and six remote islands in the Pacific Ocean and Haiti in the Caribbean on free trade terms - it is demanding Britain pays a huge bill before it even talks about a deal.
In 2011, EBA beneficiaries accounted for exports worth €10.5billion.
Cambodia gets EU free trade deal despite abuse claims - while UK is ordered to PAY
A Khmer girl eats sugarcane in the Taches village on the outskirts of Phnom Penh
However, shockingly, shortcuts allegedly being taken by the Cambodia sugar industry to meet demand is being blamed for apparent human rights abuses towards 12,000 people, including children who are forced to work from age 12.
According to United Nations trade data, in 2007 Cambodia exported $66,000 (USD) worth of sugar — $61,000 (USD) of which went to the EU. 
By 2011, those figures had risen to $13,842,000 (USD) and $12,995,000, (USD) respectively, according to research by Politico.
In that time Cambodia has seen a great deal of interest from humanitarian groups including UN Ambassador Angelina Jolie who adopted a son Maddox from the country in 2002.
Shortcuts allegedly being taken by the Cambodia sugar industry to meet demand is being blamed
However, UN Human Rights Representative in Cambodia Wan-Hea Lee has confirmed special rapporteurs have for the past four years being calling for a "thorough investigation” into what has been going on in the country. 
The EU says "entry into the EBA is automatic and, unlike other GSP (Generalised Scheme of Preferences) arrangements, the EBA has no time limit".
A European Commission report on the project added: "Tailor-made to the specific needs of least developed countries, the EU’s ‘Everything But Arms’ arrangement (EBA) was born in 2001 to give all LDCs full duty free and quota-free access to the EU for all their exports with the exception of arms and armaments. 
“This makes it the most generous form of preferential treatment to LDCs globally — an approach we encourage other partners to follow."

But the EU policy has been slammed by Ukip who says the UK should take heed and walk away over trade.
Defence spokesman Bill Etheridge said the scheme "demonstrates the limited economic understanding the EU shows over trade, market access and the benefits to everyone that global free trade. 
He said: ”The UK is a hugely important export market to the EU 27 and imposing both tariffs and non-tariff barriers is economically illogical. 
"But beneath the virtue signalling is the spite which is fuelling the Brexit negotiations where they would rather damage businesses and jobs that admit that free trade is a global merit good. 
"Even their policies for LDCs hides a nasty secret: that the EBA scheme, far from being beneficial to the grassroot is, in Cambodia at least, playing into the hands of establishment figures and ignoring the harm done to the 'little guy'. 

PM's trade envoy: We can COPY existing EU trade deals

"But this behaviour is standard for Brussels which focuses on headlines and its friends in multinationals rather than sound economic practices."
The EU, meanwhile, is determined the UK will pay before talks take place.
Michel Barnier the EU's chief negotiator told the Strasbourg parliament in a sitting this morning that Brussels wants the UK to settle its account which they claim amounts to £60bn.
He said: "A single financial settlement as a result of the Uk's commitment to the EU and the EU's commitment to the UK is very clear.
"We are not trying to punish the United Kingdom we are simply asking the United Kingdom to deliver on its commitments and undertakings as a member of the European Union."
But analysts say the EU's threat to impose sanctions on Britain over access to the single market unless it accepts conditions could backfire.
Think Tank Civitas says: "Our analysis shows that if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal UK exporters could face the potential impact of £5.2bn in tariffs on goods being sold to the EU. 
"However, EU exporters will also face £12.9bn in tariffs on goods coming to the UK."
Despite the warning the EU is determined to lay down a series of demands to the UK.
The European Commission has been contacted by to comment on the the human rights probe on Cambodia but has so far declined.

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