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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) stateless persons: 205 (2012) Illicit drugs: 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 Kingdom

aberchirder  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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