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UK heads towards Brexit and Thailand ponders an FTA with Britain

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UK heads towards Brexit and Thailand ponders an FTA with Britain | The Thaiger
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Thailand is pondering the possibilities of creating a free trade agreement with the UK after British PM Boris Johnson’s historic victory in the UK election last week, which is expected to pave the way for the passage of the ‘Brexit’ separation form the EU soon. The UK will then have to make separate agreements with each individual country. Traditionally these FTA agreements can take up to five years or more to create.

The Thai Director-General of Department of Trade Negotiations, Auramon Supthaweethum, says they now plan to study benefits and impacts from the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union. They will then conduct hearings with all parties involved in order to formulate a strategy on a future FTA with the UK.

On December 12 the British Conservative party won a comfortable majority, winning 364 seats of 650 seats in the House of Commons. PM Boris Johnson is claiming the win as a mandate from the UK voters to go ahead with leaving EU trade bloc by January 31, 2020.

The Conservative Party’s triumph is interpreted as the British voters’ wish to leave the EU in an election that decimated the Labour Party whose Brexit policy was ‘unclear’. The UK government will now have to amend and pass several pieces of law and alter regulations to get the Brexit completed, all in the middle of the holiday ‘silly’ season, as well as speed up the negotiations to start negotiations for an FTA with the EU before the end of next year.

Meanwhile, the Thai government is speeding up the Thai-EU free trade negotiations. Brexit will also prompt Thailand and the EU to renegotiate some trade deals such as the export quota for processed chicken into the EU. Thailand will then have to negotiate a separate chicken export deal with the UK after the UK separation from the EU.

UK is the top 20 trading partners of Thailand, and the second of all EU members after Germany. During the first 10 months of this year, the Thai-UK trade totalled US$5.28 billion. Thailand also exported US$3.28 billion to the UK. Major export items include car and parts, processed chicken, motorcycle and parts, gems and jewelery and integrated circuit board, according to Thai PBS World.

Thailand imported US$2 billion from the UK. Major import items include machinery and parts, crude oil, integrated circuit board, beverages, electrical machinery and parts, medical products and pharmaceuticals.

But the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit and the lacklustre economic performance caused by delays, has dampened Thai trade with the UK over the past year. In the first 10 months of 2019, Thai consignments to the UK contracted by 4.7% compared year on year.

Ms. Auramon says the result of the UK election has sent a positive signal to the market as seen by a rise in pound sterling by almost 2% against the US dollar.

Kasikorn Research Centre says the clearer outlook on Brexit may improve the UK economic sentiment. A more stable UK pound will also ease the inflation pressure because it will reduce the import costs into the UK. Additionally, it will enable the Bank of England to undertake an expansionary monetary policy to boost the economy.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Bangkok

“Don’t be f**king nosey.” Government committee meeting turns sour.

The Thaiger

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“Don’t be f**king nosey.” Government committee meeting turns sour. | The Thaiger
PHOTO: committee meeting descends into trading insults - Thai PBS World

Strong language ahead…

Claws were out at a committee meeting of the House Anti-Corruption and Misconduct Committee. A heated argument started between the committee chairman, Pol Gen Seripisut Temiyavet and two of the committee members, Pareena Kraikupt and Sira Jenjakha. The nasty and noisy spat erupted when Ms. Pareena, a Palang Pracharat MP, asked Seripisut why her petition, demanding an investigation of the committee chairman on seven issues, was not included in the meeting’s agenda, after it had been forwarded to the committee by the Office of the Secretary-General of the House, according to Thai PBS World.

The two firstly argued over whether a document had been signed or not. Then the two engaged in a vicious verbal exchange for about 15 minutes before Seripisut, a former national police chief, lost his cool…

“Don’t be fucking nosey, talking to me like that!”

That didn’t go down well and received the retort…

“Don’t use that low-class language with me.”

“Because you are low-class!”

Pareena reportedly demanded Seripisut withdraw the words “fucking nosey”, which he refused to do.

Then Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjakha walked in and jumped into the fray, demanding Seripisut withdraw the swearing and nasty sleights. He questioned how a man could use such rude language speaking to a woman.

The former police chief then abruptly adjourned the meeting and instructed parliament officials to keep an audio record of the incident so he could file defamation charges against the two Palang Pracharat MPs.

Sadly we don’t have access to any audio, let alone a video.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

Thai political leader proposes legal brothels and sex shops

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thai political leader proposes legal brothels and sex shops | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, leader of the Thai Civilised Party proposes legalised brothels and sex shops - Thai PBS World

A controversial Thai MP is proposing licenced brothels and sex shops as a way of addressing the problem of sexual abuse in Thailand. Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, leader of the Thai Civilised Party and a member of the House committee studying ways to reduce rape and other sexual violations, commented in a Facebook post that he would raise the proposal with committee members at their meeting yesterday.

Explaining his logic, Mongkolkit commented that humans, by nature, are sexual creatures, and laws and cultural norms regulating sexual activity are artificial and make humans different from other animals. He says that most rapes are perpetrated by men to release sexual tension, adding that offences are committed in families, in workplaces among colleagues and even in schools among classmates, and that rapes reported to police are a fraction of those actually committed.

He claims his idea of state sanctioned brothels and sex shops follows the Swiss model, adding that it could help reduce rape and corruption among officials for turning a blind eye to Thailand’s illegal sex trade.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Bangkok

Thai PM says he wants to prevent political protests, from either side

The Thaiger

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Thai PM says he wants to prevent political protests, from either side | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Runners at the Bangkok "Wing Lai Lung" event - efezinox.wordpress.com

In a move that is sure to be seen as a bid to stifle opposition gatherings, protests and debate, the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is voicing concern that opposition-organised political rallies, as well as those of his supporters. will “lead to fresh conflicts”. The PM told reporters yesterday that “…he has instructed security authorities to find ways to prevent such activities in the future”.

Gen Prayut told reporters that he doesn’t want to see divisions among the public.

“People should not be divided according to the group they belong to or along the lines of old and new generations. This will not benefit the country whatsoever. We must find ways to cooperate,” the prime minister was reported as saying in the Bangkok Post.

“No matter who wants to support or oust me, I don’t want anything that will lead to violence to happen again.”

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon has also said he disapproves of a planned anti-Prayut run in Chiang Mai on February 2. He says the event would “only deepen social divisions”.

Meanwhile, Tanawat Wongchai, the organiser of the “Wing Lai Lung” (Run to Oust the Uncle) held in the Chatuchak area last Sunday, maintained the Chiang Mai event would go ahead, despite the threats from the PM. An event, to show support for Prayut and the Government, called “Dern Cheer Lung” (Walk in Support of Uncle), was also held at Lumpini Park in central Bangkok on Sunday.

Complimentary anti-government events for “Wing Lai Lung” were also held in other provinces – Buri Ram, Phayao, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima and Nakhon Pathom. Metropolitan Police confirmed that 14,178 people participated in the Bangkok “Run Against Dictatorship” event. Various police estimates from the other provinces indicate and addition 2,500 people joined from provinces outside Bangkok.

A Future Forward Party MP, spokesman of the House committee on law, justice and human rights, and anti-government activist, Rangsiman Rome, claimed that some participants in the last Sunday’s anti-Prayut event in Buri Ram were summonsed by police to “acknowledge charges for violating the public assembly law”.

Pol Col Pramote Uthakit, from the Nakhon Phanom police station, told reporters that rally organisers “failed to seek permission in advance to hold the activity from police”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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