Matthew and Sarah Elliott: How a UK Power Couple Links US Libertarians and Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Brexit
If you have detected a distinctly American flavour to the rampant lobbying in Westminster corridors over a Brexit deal, there is a good reason why.
A close look at the transatlantic connections of the London-based groups pushing for the most deregulated form of Brexit reveals strong ties to major US libertarian influencers. These include fossil fuel magnates the Koch brothers — known for funding climate science denial around the world — and the man who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign, Robert Mercer.
At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.
Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging US–UK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.
The current draft withdrawal agreement appears to try and provide some protection for the current level of environmental regulation — at least in principle. But politicians associated with this transatlantic network are lobbying hard for the draft deal to be scrapped, along with those protections.
This DeSmog UK investigation reveals the strength of the ties between Matthew and Sarah Elliott, UK lobbyists and politicians, and US groups with vested interests in fossil fuels keen to profit from deregulation.
It shows how organisations with strong ties to the Koch Brothers and Robert Mercer increased their political activities in the UKimmediately before and after the Brexit referendum.
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