United Kingdom 2014
UK. The winter weather in January put the community to the test. The amount of rainfall was reported to be the largest in 248 years and the floods are among the most serious so far. A storm killed three people and left hundreds of thousands of Britons without electricity. Prime Minister David Cameron received criticism for waiting too long to act. The extreme weather also brought to life the debate on global warming.
When Greece took over the EU presidency on 1 January, transnational checks on work permits for EU migrants were scrapped. The checks were introduced in 2007 and concerned EU migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, among others, who had limited rights to work and receive grants during the first seven years of EU membership. In the British media, fears were raised that the scrapped controls would lead to mass immigration.
With a resounding yes in the form of 105 votes to 18, the Scottish Parliament voted in February to approve same-sex marriage.
According to Countryaah.com, United Kingdom population in 2020 is estimated at 67,886,022. Migration Minister Mark Harper left his post with immediate effect. The reason was that in 2007 he hired a cleaner who did not have a work permit.
The campaigns ahead of this autumn’s election on Scotland to break away from Britain intensified. The discussions were about whether Scotland would continue to use the pound if the Scots voted in favor of independence.
Finance Minister George Osborne delivered happy news in March when he presented the spring budget – the UK economy was expected to grow by 2.7% during the year, which was better than expected. Visit Abbreviationfinder for all abbreviations related to U.K.
At the end of March, wedding acid broke out in England and Wales, when same-sex couples also got the right to marry here. “A momentous moment for our country,” the Prime Minister wrote in an article for the gay newspaper PinkNews.
Queen Elizabeth II welcomed Irish President Michael Higgins in April during a state visit. The visit, which was the first of its kind, was seen as a good sign that the previously frosty relationships had improved significantly.
Minister of Culture Maria Miller resigned from her post after it was discovered that she was flirting with the compensation for her housing. The Prime Minister, who supported Miller in the latter, received criticism and was deemed to damage confidence among voters.
The EU-critical UK Independence Party (UKIP) made significant strides in both local elections and the European Parliament elections in May, where they ran for both the Social Democratic Labor and the Conservative Party. In the EU elections, UKIP received 27% of the vote, followed by Labor with 24% and the Conservative Party with 23%. The Liberal Democrats made a disastrous election and received just under 7%. It was the first time in over 100 years that a national election was won by any party other than Labor or the Conservative Party.
In the local elections, Labor received the most votes and 338 new seats, which meant that 82 cities and municipalities out of 162 will be governed by Labor. UKIP also made a good local election, increasing from two to 163 seats, while the Conservative Party lost big. The turnout in both elections was low, 34.7%.
New statistics showed that unemployment had fallen to 6.8%, which was the lowest figure in five years.
Following an extensive investigation, former editor of News of the World Charles W. Coulson was sentenced in June to 18 months in prison for playing a prominent role in a major scandal. His successor, Rebekah Brooks, was acquitted of the charges. Prime Minister Cameron apologized for hiring Coulson as communications director in 2007, right after he left News of the World.
David Cameron lost the battle over who would become the new European Commission President when all member countries except Britain and Hungary voted for Luxembourg’s former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker. Cameron had strongly opposed the choice of Juncker.
In July, the Anglican Church voted to allow women to be consecrated. Thus, the first female bishop may take office next year. The last time the question went to vote, in 2012, it was a no.
UKIP formed the European Critical Group on Freedom and Democracy in Europe (The Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group, EFD) in the European Parliament. In addition to UKIP, the group includes among others the Sweden Democrats and representatives of EU-critical parties from Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and the Czech Republic.
Britain’s largest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was baptized but not with champagne as usual but with Scottish malt whiskey. In times that were characterized by savings in public spending, some were provoked by the investment on the 280 meter long and technically advanced ship. HMS Queen Elizabeth was expected to be commissioned in 2017.
1 million teachers, civil servants, firefighters and others went on July 10 in a strike that was the largest held in Britain since the general strike in 1926. The conflict between trade unions and the state concerned cuts, salaries and pensions for public servants.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage announced in August that he intended to run for the South Thanet district in the 2015 parliamentary elections. The seat he is running for is held by Conservative member Laura Sandys.
A large investigation revealed that at least 1,400 children in Rotheram in the county of Yorkshire have been subjected to sexual abuse during the period 1997-2013.
In August, the United Kingdom raised the level of terrorist threats from “significant” to “severe”, the second highest. As a result, the country was back to the serious level that applied in 2010 and 2011. The background was that the government considered the risk of terrorist attacks to be great. Minister of the Interior Theresa May, however, said it was not an “immediate threat”.
The temperature rose in the election movement ahead of the referendum on Scottish independence on September 18. A week into September, the jas side led by barely a margin. However, the down side won by 55% against 45%. The 307-year-old union was thus allowed to exist.
The Islamic State (IS) terror group in September executed British aid worker David Haines, who was held hostage for one year. After IS published a movie in which the aid worker is killed, Britain promised to hunt down his killer.
Home Minister Theresa May presented a bill in November that will make it difficult for British and foreign nationals residing in the country to travel abroad and participate in terrorist activities. According to the proposal, the police should be able to seize suspects’ passports for 30 days. They can also be stopped from returning to the UK for two years if they do not agree to participate in an investigation.
David Cameron, hard pressed by his EU-critical home opinion, announced in a speech that he wants to make the country less attractive to EU migrants. Among other things, he wants to limit the possibility of receiving grants and introducing tougher controls. According to Cameron, who promised a referendum on continued EU membership, this depends on whether he gets through his demands.
In December, Minister of Finance George Osborne announced that he will not be able to reduce the budget deficit to the extent he promised when he took office in 2010. Despite the positive development of the UK economy, the budget deficit was expected to remain at around £ 90 billion.