Holidays in United Kingdom
Understanding United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth's surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK's strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic's withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The UK is also an active member of the EU, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1999. The latter was suspended until May 2007 due to wrangling over the peace process, but devolution was fully completed in March 2010.
United Kingdom economy
The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France. Over the past two decades, the government has greatly reduced public ownership. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with less than 2% of the labor force. The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil resources, but its oil and natural gas reserves are declining and the UK became a net importer of energy in 2005. Services, particularly banking, insurance, and business services, are key drivers of British GDP growth. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has declined in importance but still accounts for about 10% of economic output. After emerging from recession in 1992, Britain's economy enjoyed the longest period of expansion on record during which time growth outpaced most of Western Europe. In 2008, however, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded Britain's economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets; these included nationalizing parts of the banking system, temporarily cutting taxes, suspending public sector borrowing rules, and moving forward public spending on capital projects. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated a five-year austerity program, which aimed to lower London's budget deficit from about 11% of GDP in 2010 to nearly 1% by 2015. In November 2011, Chancellor of the Exchequer George OSBORNE announced additional austerity measures through 2017 largely due to the euro-zone debt crisis. The CAMERON government raised the value added tax from 17.5% to 20% in 2011. It has pledged to reduce the corporation tax rate to 21% by 2014. The Bank of England (BoE) implemented an asset purchase program of £375 billion (approximately $605 billion) as of December 2013. During times of economic crisis, the BoE coordinates interest rate moves with the European Central Bank, but Britain remains outside the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). In 2012, weak consumer spending and subdued business investment weighed on the economy, however, in 2013 GDP grew 1.4%, accelerating unexpectedly in the second half of the year because of greater consumer spending and a recovering housing market. The budget deficit is falling but remains high at nearly 7% and public debt has continued to increase.
Issues in United Kingdom
in 2002, Gibraltar residents voted overwhelmingly by referendum to reject any "shared sovereignty" arrangement between the UK and Spain; the Government of Gibraltar insisted on equal participation in talks between the two countries; Spain disapproved of UK plans to grant Gibraltar greater autonomy; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory); in 2001, the former inhabitants of the archipelago, evicted 1967 - 1973, were granted U.K. citizenship and the right of return, followed by Orders in Council in 2004 that banned rehabitation, a High Court ruling reversed the ban, a Court of Appeal refusal to hear the case, and a Law Lords' decision in 2008 denied the right of return; in addition, the United Kingdom created the world's largest marine protection area around the Chagos islands prohibiting the extraction of any natural resources therein; UK rejects sovereignty talks requested by Argentina, which still claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin):
11,249 (Somalia); 10,302 (Zimbabwe); 11,368 (Iran); 10,010 (Eritrea); 9,166 (Afghanistan) (2013)
producer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and synthetic drugs; money-laundering center
Cities in United Kingdomaberchirder aberdare aberdeen aberdour aberfeldy aberfoyle aberlady aberlour abernethy aberystwyth abingdon aboyne accrington airdrie airth aldershot alford alfreton allanton alloa almondbank alness altrincham alva alyth amersham andover annan annbank anstruther antrim arbroath ardersier ardrishaig ardrossan armadale arnold ashford ashington ashton-under-lyne atherton auchinleck auchterarder auchtermuchty aviemore avoch avonbridge aylesbury ayr ayton balfron balintore ballachulish ballater ballingry balloch ballymena balmedie balmullo banbury banchory banff bangor bankfoot barnsley barnstaple barry basildon basingstoke bath bathgate batley bearsden beauly bebington bedford bedworth beith belfast bellshill benfleet bentley beverley bexhill bicester bideford biggar billericay billingham birkenhead birmingham bishop auckland bishopbriggs bishopton blackburn blackburn blackburn blackford blackpool blackwood blairgowrie blairhall blantyre bletchley blyth boat of garten boddam bodmin bognor regis bolton bonnybridge bootle borehamwood boston bourne bournemouth bowmore bracknell braco bradford brae braintree brechin brentwood bridgend bridge of earn bridge of weir bridgwater bridlington brigg brighouse brighton bristol broadford broadstairs brodick brora broxburn brynmawr buchlyvie buckhaven buckie burgess hill burghead burnley burntwood bury bury saint edmunds buxton caernarfon cairneyhill caldercruix callander cambridge campbeltown cannock canterbury cardenden cardiff cardross carlisle carlton carluke carmarthen carmunnock carnoustie carnwath carradale carrickfergus carstairs castle douglas castleford castletown catrine ceres chapelton chapeltown chatham chelmsford cheltenham chesham cheshunt chester chesterfield chester-le-street chichester chippenham chipping sodbury chirnside chorley christchurch chryston clackmannan clacton-on-sea cleethorpes cleland clevedon clydebank coalburn coalville coatbridge cockenzie colchester coldingham coldstream coleraine colwyn bay comrie congleton consett corby coupar angus coventry cowdenbeath cowie coylton cramlington crawley creetown crewe crieff crimond cromarty crosby crossford crossford crossgates crosshill crosshouse crowthorne croy cruden bay cullen cumbernauld cuminestown cumnock cupar cwmbran dailly dalbeattie dalkeith dalry dalrymple darlington dartford darvel darwen dawlish denholm denton derby dewsbury dingwall dirleton dollar doncaster dorchester dornoch douglas doune droitwich dronfield droylsden drumnadrochit drymen dudley dufftown dumbarton dumfries dunbar dunblane dundee dundonald dunfermline dunlop dunning dunoon duns dunstable durham eaglesfield eaglesham earlston eastbourne east grinstead east kilbride eastleigh east linton east retford east wemyss eaton socon ebbw vale ecclefechan eccles edinburgh edzell egham elgin elie ellesmere port ellon errol evanton exeter exmouth eyemouth failsworth fairlie falkirk falkland falmouth fareham farnborough farnham farnworth fauldhouse felling fenwick findhorn findochty fleet fleetwood fochabers folkestone forfar formby forres fort augustus forth fortrose fort william fraserburgh freuchie friockheim frome fyvie gainsborough galashiels galston gardenstown garelochhead gargunnock gatehouse of fleet gateshead giffnock gifford gillingham girvan glasgow glassford glenboig glenfarg glenluce glenrothes glossop gloucester godalming golborne golspie gorebridge gosforth gosport gourdon grantham gravesend grays great malvern great sankey great yarmouth greenlaw greenock gretna grimsby guildford gullane haddington halesowen halifax halkirk harlow harpenden harrogate harthill hartlepool hastings hatfield havant haverfordwest hawick hawkhead haywards heath heanor helensburgh helmsdale hemel hempstead hereford herne bay hertford heswall heywood high valleyfield high wycombe hillside hinckley hindley hitchin hoddesdon holbeach honiton hopeman horsham houston hove huddersfield huntingdon huntly hyde ilfracombe ilkeston inchture innellan innerleithen insch inveraray inverbervie invergordon inverkeithing inverkip inverness inverurie ipswich irvine ivybridge jarrow jedburgh johnshaven keighley keith kelso kelty kemnay kendal kenilworth kennoway kettering kidderminster kidsgrove kilbirnie kilcreggan killin kilmacolm kilmarnock kilmaurs kilsyth kilwinning kincardine kinghorn kinglassie kingseat kingskettle kingsteignton kingston upon hull kingswood kingussie kinlochleven kinloss kinross kintore kippen kirkby in ashfield kirkby kirkconnel kirkcudbright kirkintilloch kirkliston kirknewton kirkton of largo kirkwall kirriemuir kyle of lochalsh ladybank lamlash lanark lancaster langbank langholm largs larkhall lauder laurencekirk law leatherhead leeds leicester leigh leighton buzzard lennoxtown lerwick lesmahagow letchworth letham leuchars lewes leyland lhanbryde lichfield limekilns lincoln linlithgow lisburn litherland littlehampton liverpool livingston llandrindod wells llanelli llangefni loanhead loans locharbriggs lochgilphead lochmaben lochwinnoch lockerbie londonderry london long eaton longforgan longniddry longside lossiemouth loughborough loughton louth lowestoft luncarty lundin links lurgan luton macclesfield macduff macmerry maesteg maidenhead maidens maidstone mallaig manchester mangotsfield mansfield margate matlock mauchline maud maybole melrose melton mowbray merthyr tydfil methven middlesbrough middleton millport milnathort milton keynes mintlaw moffat mold monkton montrose morecambe morley motherwell muirkirk muir of ord musselburgh muthill nailsea nairn neath neilston nelson netherburn newburgh newburgh newburn newbury newcastleton newcastle upon tyne new cumnock new deer new pitsligo newport newport newry new scone newton abbot newton aycliffe newtonhill newtonmore newton stewart newtownards newtown saint boswells newtyle northallerton northam northampton north berwick north kessock north shields northwich norwich nottingham nuneaton oakham oakley oban ochiltree oldham oldmeldrum omagh ormiston ormskirk ossett overtown oxford paignton paisley patna peebles penarth pencaitland penicuik penzance perth peterborough peterhead peterlee pitlochry pitmedden pittenweem plean plymouth pontefract pontypool pontypridd poole portadown port bannatyne port ellen portgordon portknockie portlethen portpatrick portree portsmouth portsoy port talbot port william potters bar prescot prestonpans preston prestwich pudsey quarter queensferry radcliffe ramsgate ratho rawtenstall reading redcar redditch reigate rhondda rhyl rhymney rochdale rochester rosehearty rosneath rotherham rothesay rothes rottingdean royal leamington spa royal tunbridge wells royton rugby rugeley runcorn rushden ruthin ryde saint albans saint andrews saint austell saint boswells saint combs saint cyrus saint helens saint monans sale salford saline salisbury sandhaven sandwick sanquhar scalloway scarborough scunthorpe seafield seaham selkirk sevenoaks sheffield shipley shotts shrewsbury sidmouth sittingbourne skegness skelmersdale skelmorlie slamannan sleaford slough solihull southampton southend-on-sea southport south shields spalding springside stafford staines stalybridge stamford stanley staveley stevenage stewarton stirling stockport stockton-on-tees stoke-on-trent stonehaven stonehouse stornoway stourbridge stow stranraer stratford-upon-avon strathaven strathblane strathmiglo strathpeffer stretford strichen stromness strone strood stroud stuartfield sunbury sunderland sutton coldfield sutton in ashfield swadlincote swansea swindon symington tain tamworth tarbert tarbolton tarland tarves taunton tayport teignmouth telford thatcham thornaby thornhill thornton thurso tighnabruaich tillicoultry tiverton tobermory tonbridge torphichen torphins torquay totton townhill tranent troon trowbridge truro turriff tyldesley ullapool uplawmoor urmston wakefield walkden walkerburn wallasey wallsend walsall warrington warwick washington waterfoot waterlooville watford wellingborough welwyn garden city west bridgeford west bromwich west calder westhoughton west kilbride west linton weston-super-mare weymouth whitburn whitefield whitehaven whitehills whithorn whitley bay whitstable wickford wick widnes wigan wigston wigtown wilmslow winchester winsford wishaw witham witney wokingham wolverhampton worcester workington worksop worthing wrexham yeovil yetholm york
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