Sunday, 9 November 2008

British firms need NOT apply

With the UK building industry down in the dumps the possibility of a £275 Million contract to build the new US Embassy in London would seem like a job any firm would love to land. However, British Firms need not apply, since only contractors holding US Defence Department Security Service Secret Facility Clearance, with secret safeguarding capability, are eligible to carry out the work. Unfortunately this clearance is only available to US contractors. The US Defence Department clearly states "Foreign firms are not eligible for Secret Facility Clearance."

Surely the US/UK Special Relationship should count for something here? Apparently not! The special relationship works fine when we are giving and the yanks are taking. Try to do it the other way round and somehow it never seems to work out. As I have written previously on the blog, according to the US there are two types of people in the world, Americans and NOT Americans. No matter how people might try to spin it the British are NOT Americans. This is not a new thing. At the end of WWII it was the Americans who occupied Japan, the British and Commonwealth forces, who lets face it had been fighting alone against the Japanese for years, were pointed excluded. The imbalance in the "special relationship" continues right up to the present day. We now have the situation where US Courts have the power to have British Subjects extradited to the US upon request. British Courts have no such reciprocal power over American Citizens.

The exclusion of British firms from the embassy contract, indeed the exclusion of firms from anywhere in the EU from a contract of this size is illegal under British (for that read European Union) Law. Of course an Embassy comes under diplomatic privilege so the laws of the host country are set aside, just so long as the host country isn't the USA!

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