It is said that the great Russian commander Alexander Suvorov used the steady expression “English woman spoils”, although many believe that it appeared later, during the forty-year reign of Queen Victoria. Be that as it may, it happened a very long time ago, but this saying is still relevant.
It is not the first time that the UK sanctions against Russia will remain in force after the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union.
In April of this year, when Teresa May was getting ready to surrender, and Boris Johnson was eyeing a mansion on 10 Downing Street, a bill was published on the British government portal describing the sanctions policy in case of “hard” brexitis, that is, leaving the EU without a deal . Of course, the explanatory note to the bill said, London is still committed to the idea of a “civilized divorce” from Brussels, but the government should be prepared for any circumstances just in case.
As you know, the “hard” brexitis, which frightened the European Union Johnson and his associates, did not happen: most members of parliament considered that the consequences of such a move would be too traumatic for the United Kingdom, and blocked the prime minister’s attempts to hold Brexit until October 31. Now, the UK’s exit from the EU has been extended until January 31, and it’s not at all obvious that this is really the last date. Unlike Brexit, the House of Commons approved the bill on sanctions against Russia (Russia Regulations 2019) very quickly, a month after it was submitted for consideration. From that moment on, he acquired the status of law. Then 294 deputies voted for the document, against 184.
The meaning of the "Russian Regulation" is to replace EU legislation requiring all EU members to impose sanctions against Russia with independent British legislation, "essentially with the same effect." It was specially emphasized that there was no question of any mitigation of sanctions. On the contrary, at the parliamentary hearings that preceded the vote, the Minister for European and Latin American Affairs Alan Duncan suggested that in the future (that is, after Brexit) the UK sanctions policy may indeed differ from that pursued by the EU, but in the direction of tightening. Although London will try to interact as closely as possible with European partners, the minister added, in some cases the British version of the sanctions will be "much more stringent" than the laws of European countries. “Their (EU) sanctions regimes imply only entry bans, while our legislation, with the support of both parties, can do much more,” Duncan said.
In other words, the British government reassures parliamentarians and society: even if the country leaves the European Union, it will not lead to any concessions for the insidious Russians. On the contrary, the nuts will be tightened so that Moscow doesn't seem enough!
This arrangement of emphasis was important, not least because of the fact that opponents themselves were brexing it more and more often began to be called the “Putin project”. A popular conspiracy theory says that the main events of 2016 - the victory of supporters of Britain’s exit from the EU in a referendum in June and the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election in November - were rigged by the almighty Russian special services. If it were not for the demonic Putin, who ruled the world from behind the Kremlin wall, then Misty Albion would remain in a cozy pan-European company, and Hillary Clinton would be gendered and ideologically correct in the White House.
It was Madame ex-Secretary of State and Trump’s unlucky election candidate, whom the current White House owner refers to as False Hillary, who recently visited the British Isles to present the Book of Fearless Women.
But the presentation of the book was just a smokescreen - in fact, the main purpose for which Hillary crossed the Atlantic Ocean was to attack Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his “inexplicable and shameful” decision to block the publication of a report on Russia's interference in the British election. “I'm dumbfounded,” Clinton said. “Everyone who votes in this country deserves to see this (report on Russian intervention. - KB ) before the election.” And, of course, Moscow’s traditional accusations of meddling in Western affairs were not without: “There is no doubt - we know this in our country, we saw it here (in Great Britain. - KB ), that Russia, in particular, intends to try to shape the politics of Western democracies. Not in our favor, but in our own. ”
Hillary's attack was launched at a very inconvenient time for Johnson: exactly one month before the upcoming parliamentary elections. The elections, I recall, are extraordinary, although it would be more correct to say "next extraordinary."
And very important, since the fate of the ill-fated brexitis can really be decided on them. If the majority of seats in parliament will be occupied by supporters of the United Kingdom's exit from the EU (that is, the Tories and the deputies from the Brexit party Nigel Faraj who have joined the alliance), then on January 31, Britain will still set sail. If not, then the world will at best see another act of the not-so-funny English comedy “Gentlemen say goodbye, but they don’t leave”, at worst Johnson will lose his post, and opponents of Brexit will still be able to turn the stuffing back. Then the UK will remain a member of the EU, the principles of direct democracy and the will of the people will be solemnly buried under the joyful hooting of liberal globalists, and voters around the world will receive a visual lesson: no matter how you vote, the result will still be what pleases the "masters of discourse."
One cannot disagree with the Russian analyst Ivan Danilov, who wrote that criticism from Hillary Clinton led to "paradoxical in terms of logic and extremely offensive personally for Johnson (who at the very beginning of his prime minister promised to personally prove to Putin that Western liberalism is alive) consequences. On Friday, the British prime minister got to the point that he was forced to justify Russia! Moreover, the British press on Friday and Saturday arranged for Johnson to be blasted for his words that “there is no evidence” of Russia's interference in British politics. ”
In this situation, Johnson and his government simply have no choice but to demonstrate their “steepness” in relations with Russia, and it is quite logical that the sphere where this is easiest to do is the sphere of sanctions. So yesterday the warning issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry about the possible tightening of sanctions against Russia was made for a reason.
We can talk not only about toughening the “Crimean package”, but also about the full implementation of the so-called Magnitsky sanctions, serious passions around which were in full swing in the British Parliament back in May - and also, imagine, in connection with Brexit.
The Magnitsky Amendment to the British Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act was approved by the House of Commons a year and a half ago, on May 23, 2018. And in May 2019, “sworn friends” of Russia — Chris Bryant, head of the inter-party group on Russia in the British parliament and Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the House of Commons’s committee on foreign affairs — attacked then-head of the Foreign Office (British Foreign Ministry) Jeremy Hunt with an open letter, which they asked angrily, why didn’t the authorities ever use it for the whole year after the adoption of the Magnitsky amendment? “The delay in the implementation of Magnitsky’s sanctions does not correspond to the interests of national security!” The authors of the letter were indignant.
The government sluggishly fought back, referring to the fact that the “Magnitsky amendment” can only be implemented after the country leaves the European Union. Although Bryant and Tugendhat considered these explanations unintelligible, the Magnitsky’s sanctions did not work then.
“When we leave the European Union and independently control our sanctions rules, the government will enact the“ Magnitsky amendment, ”Dominic Raab, the new head of the British Foreign Office, promised in August. There is no doubt that this will be so. Unless, of course, Britain really leaves the EU.
The irony of the situation, however, is that even if Johnson and Faraj lose and we don’t see any Brexit (the probability of such an outcome is not too great, but it cannot be called zero), no sanctions against Russia will be lifted. But new ones are likely to be introduced. In this sense (but, perhaps, only in this) there is no difference for our country who will prevail in the current confrontation in the British Isles. Sanctions will remain in any case - simply because this is the traditional policy of Great Britain towards Russia. And Britain, as you know, is strong in its traditions.
Englishwoman in her repertoire.
The author’s point of view may not coincide with the position of the publisher.