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Ruth Lea

Ruth Lea

Background

Ruth Lea is a political economist and former civil servant. A commentator on economic and political affairs, Ruth Lea has criticised the “big state” economic ideas of Gordon Brown.

Between 2004 and 2007, Ruth was director of Centre for Policy Studies, an organisation with links to climate science denial groups in the US.

Read time: 3 mins

From Donald Trump to Theresa May: How a US-UK Network Pushes Climate Science Denial and Lobbies for a Hard Brexit — Mapped

Read time: 7 mins
Network map of US-UK climate science deniers

Donald Trump has finally come to the UK, 20 months after he won the election to make him the 45th President of the United States.

During that time, a trans-Atlantic network of business people, think tank analysts, and lobbyists have grown in influence — pushing a free market ideology and spreading climate science denial on both sides of the Atlantic.

DeSmog UK first mapped the network when Trump was sworn into office in January 2017. Things have moved on a bit since then.

Mapped: How Brexit Lobbyists Give Climate Science Deniers Privileged Access to the UK Government

Read time: 4 mins
Map of how Shanker Singham and Legatum link to climate science deniers

Noone knows what’s going on with Brexit — but recent reports show that if you can pretend to, you could get some serious access to the UK government. And the panic around Brexit is affording a unique opportunity for a range nefarious lobbying interests, including climate science deniers.

One of the recently connected lobbyists is Shanker Singham, formerly of the flavour of the month Brexit thinktank, the Legatum Institute, and now of the more established establishment outfit, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Singham has strong ties to the US climate science denial lobby, and has slotted neatly into a network of transatlantic climate science deniers pushing for a hard Brexit.

How Climate Science Deniers Prop Up the Tory-DUP Alliance Threatening the Good Friday Agreement

Read time: 7 mins
Tory-DUP map

It is 20 years since Northern Ireland’s leaders signed the Good Friday Agreement. After decades of conflict, the deal laid out how the country would be governed and has proved fragile over the last two decades.

That fragility has been exacerbated over the past 10 months, ever since UK prime minister Theresa May signed a “supply and confidence” pact with Northern Ireland’s pro-Brexit, socially conservative, climate science denying, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to prop up her Conservative government.

The DUP ’s presence as a governing partner threatens the Good Friday Agreement, as the party has regularly criticised the deal's requirement that both of Northern Ireland’s main parties rule in coalition.

The DUP says this effectively gives their opponents Sinn Fein a veto over major political decisions. Northern Ireland has been without an executive since January 2017 when Sinn Fein resigned from government in protest over the handling of a bungled biomass energy scheme.

The DUP’s new found power also amplifies the influence of a network of Brexiteer climate science deniers with ties to the party. Together, this network is pushing to roll back the UK’s climate commitments through a ‘hard’ Brexit, while also threatening Northern Ireland’s fragile governing arrangements.

Government Departments Help Launch Hard-Brexit Thinktank, Emails Show

Read time: 6 mins
Daniel Hannan

How cosy is the relationship between free market ideologues pushing for greater deregulation and the government? Very, it turns out.

The IFT (formerly the Institute for Free Trade), a hard-Brexit thinktank tied to the UK’s climate science denial network enjoyed strong support from two government departments ahead of its launch at the Foreign Office at the end of last year, internal emails show.

The IFT describes itself as a “private, not-for-profit, non-partisan research foundation” advocating “unrestricted commerce both with the EU and with the rest of the world”.

It is based at 57 Tufton Street, sharing an office with the anti-renewables thinktank the Centre for Policy Studies, and next door to organisations at the heart of a UK climate science denial network working out of 55 Tufton Street.

Revealed: Liam Fox's Trade Department is Taking Advice from 'Experts' with Links to Climate Science Denial Networks

Read time: 6 mins
Liam Fox

Hardline Brexiteers with links to a network of organisations spreading disinformation about climate change have seats on an expert committee closely advising international trade secretary Liam Fox, a freedom of information request reveals.   

The five-member committee includes Peter Lilley, one of the board members of the climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Lilley hinted at his role within the committee earlier this year when an investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Sunday Times secretly recorded him and former ministers Lord Lansley and Andrew Mitchell offering information about the UK government’s approach to Brexit to a fictitious Chinese company in exchange for money. All three have denied any wrongdoing.

During the recording, Lilley boasted about his strong ties to the government and said: “The other thing I am involved with – Liam Fox has set-up a committee of experts of which I am one”.

Now DeSmog UK can reveal for the first time the details of that committee. 

Exposed: The Tory-Trump Plan to Kill Food Safety with Brexit Chicken

Read time: 21 mins
Chicken farm

A trans-Atlantic network of Conservative and Libertarian think tanks were caught creating ‘shadow trade deals’ which deregulate in favour of food and drug lobbies during Brexit. In this investigation for Insurge and Real Media, Kam Sandhu exposes the long history of this trans-Atlantic network, and its efforts to drag us towards corporate freedom at the expense of public safety since the birth of neoliberalism.

'I’m sure you all know the story of how you came to be here’, Brexiteer and Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan addressed a packed room at the Capitale, New York on November 8 as he delivered the Toast to Freedom for the Atlas Network:

Gallus Gallus Domesticus….the chicken should be the symbol of the global freedom movement.’

Surrounded by a room full of ‘freedom champions’, Hannan used his speech to attack EU regulations which prevent US food staples such as chlorinated chicken, hormone fed beef and Genetically Modified (GM) foods from sale to the UK.

Trans-Atlantic Network of Hard Brexit Climate Science Deniers Plotting ‘Shadow’ US-UK Trade Talks

Read time: 6 mins
Brexit trade talks

Representatives from thinktanks on both sides of the Atlantic heavily involved in lobbying for Brexit and spreading disinformation on climate change are set to meet to formulate their vision for a UK-US trade deal.

The “shadow trade talks” will be hosted by London’s IFT (formerly the Institute for Free Trade), led by Conservative MEP and hard Brexit advocate Daniel Hannan. The group plans to reveal its version of an “ideal” trade agreement later this year.

According to documents originally uncovered by Greenpeace’s investigative unit, UnEarthed, the coalition will seek to significantly weaken existing regulations. This would allow for controversial changes, such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef imports to be sold in the UK for the first time.

Who Said What on Climate and Energy at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Read time: 5 mins
World Economic Forum sign

The World Economic Forum in Davos is a very weird event, with billionaire business leaders, heads of state and select policy wonks all mingling at a swanky Swiss resort.

But the chat isn’t just focused on how one percent of the world’s population can keep 82 percent of the world’s wealth — glasses of prosecco are occasionally downed to discuss technology, trade deals and gender inequality, with a smattering of talk about climate change and the fossil fuel industry thrown in for good measure.

Trade Department Promotes BP's Fossil Fuel Interests in Russia as UK Touts Climate Credentials, Docs Reveal

Read time: 5 mins
UK and Russia flags on a table

Fossil fuel giant BP has a direct line to UK government officials that it uses to further its interests in Russia, email correspondence reveals.

The revelations come just days after prime minister Theresa May said in a speech the UK would use its “international influence to drive positive change”, including continuing “to lead the world” on climate change.

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