In 2003, the United Kingdom (UK) was a constitutional monarchy composed of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK had a population of around 59 million people and was one of the major economic powers in Europe. Its economy was based on services such as banking and finance, tourism, retailing and manufacturing. According to computergees, the UK had a parliamentary system of government with an unelected monarch at its head. Citizens enjoyed a high degree of freedom with many rights such as freedom of speech, expression, movement, assembly and association protected by law. In terms of culture, the UK had a rich history with many traditions still upheld in 2003. Music festivals like Glastonbury were popular amongst locals and visitors alike while traditional English dishes like fish & chips and Sunday roast were still widely enjoyed throughout the country. The UK also had a thriving art scene with galleries like the Tate Modern showcasing world-renowned works from both British and international artists. Sports such as football and cricket were also popular in 2003 with fans regularly attending matches throughout the year to cheer on their favorite teams.
UK. According to Countryaah.com, United Kingdom Independence Day is June 4. The political debate was dominated by the IraqThe ruling Labor Party was divided as to whether a military intervention against Iraq was necessary. Prime Minister Tony Blair advocated a tough line with reference to the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. However, large parts of the party felt that a possible attack would occur only if the UN gave its approval.
During the year, several people were arrested in accordance with new anti-terrorism legislation. A policeman was killed in January in connection with an intervention in Manchester against several people of North African origin suspected of having ties to a group that had manufactured the poison ricin. Concerns about possible terrorist acts led to increased security at the country’s airports.
In 2002, over 110,000 people sought asylum in the UK. In the spring, the government announced plans for tougher rules to halve the number of asylum seekers. They also pleaded for the creation of regional zones for the reception of asylum seekers near the refugees’ home countries. However, the proposal received a mixed reception in other EU countries. In March, the government received a backlash from the Court of Appeal for the decision that asylum seekers would lose the right to financial aid if they did not apply for asylum directly upon arrival in the UK.
An anti-war demonstration in London on February 15 gathered at least 1 million participants. Similar protests were also held at other locations in the country. At the same time, Tony Blair’s and the government’s opinion figures fell. In March, among other things, Union Minister Robin Cook and two deputy ministers in protest of the war plans. On March 18, a majority in Parliament voted to give the government the right to use “necessary measures” to disarm the Iraqi regime. 139 Labor members, however, opposed the decision. Two days later, the US-British forces attacked Iraq. The British effort was concentrated on the southern part of the country. At most, there were over 40,000 British soldiers in Iraq. Following the fall of Baghdad in April, public opinion began to fluctuate in the UK. When US President George W.
Two Algerian citizens, suspected of belonging to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, were sentenced in April to eleven years in prison. for fraud in order to provide foreign terror groups with money.
On May 1, elections were held in Scotland and Wales. In Scotland, Labor became again the largest party in Parliament in Edinburgh, despite some decline. Small parties, such as the Scottish Socialist Party and Scottish Greens, were up for election, while the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) lost eight seats. After the election, Labor and the Liberal Democrats continued their government cooperation under the leadership of Jack McConnell. In Wales, too, Labor remained in power after getting half the seats in the Cardiff Autonomous Assembly. Labor went ahead at the expense of Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru. Rhodi Morgan continued as prime minister. 48% of Scottish voters voted in the election, in Wales the turnout was 38%. In the local elections held simultaneously in England, Labor returned, while the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats had success in several places. In the local elections, fewer than one in three voters voted.
The month after the elections, the special ministerial posts for Scotland and Wales were abolished. At the same time, the government announced that the post of Lord Chancellor would be abolished, which meant that the upper house would lose its position as the country’s highest judicial body. There were also plans to create a supreme court according to the American example and that judges should be appointed by an independent legal committee. The reforms were to be prepared by a new Department of Constitutional Affairs under the leadership of the new Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer.
No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, and criticism of Blair gained momentum during the early summer. The question was whether the government had exaggerated the threat from Iraq to justify an attack. Parliament’s intelligence and security committees were commissioned to investigate the evidence cited by the US and UK governments prior to the war. In a BBC radio show, journalist Andrew Gilligan accused the Prime Minister’s information strategist Alastair Campbell of making changes to an Iraqi weapons intelligence report presented by the government last fall. Most notably, it was the task of Iraq being able to deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.
During a committee hearing, Campbell accused Gilligan of lying. The BBC cited a reliable source at the Department of Defense. Microbiologist David Kelly, former weapons inspector in Iraq, was identified as the source. The Ministry of Defense – and Defense Minister Geoffrey Hoon – were accused of having leaked his name to the media. Kelly, who testified before the Intelligence and Security Committee in July, took her life shortly thereafter. The BBC confirmed that they had received their information from Kelly. Criticism against the government grew. Blair appointed an independent commission, led by Judge Lord Hutton, to investigate what had happened. From 1 August, public hearings were held with representatives of the government, the BBC and Kelly’s family. Gilligan admitted that he had made a mistake in presenting his story, but maintained that the government report had exaggerated the threat from Iraq. Hutton’s report was expected to be completed in early 2004.
The Conservative Party, which had largely supported the war, continued to have low opinion figures. The dissatisfaction within the party was directed at party leader Iain Duncan Smith, who lost a vote of confidence among party members in parliament at the end of October. Former Prime Minister Michael Howard was appointed as new party leader. George W. Bush’s state visit in November was circumvented by a comprehensive security brief. At the time of the US president’s visit, two terrorist attacks were aimed at British interests in Turkey.
In May 2017, the British Supreme Court issued a ruling that Parliament should first discuss British withdrawal from the EU before the government could begin withdrawal negotiations. On February 1, the parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to start withdrawal negotiations and at the end of March, the government handed over the letter to the EU to begin the withdrawal negotiations. To strengthen his negotiating position, Prime Minister May decided two weeks later to print parliamentary elections for the beginning of June. She immediately faced a huge victory because most saw Labor as weakened and deeply divided. In May, Labor announced its election program under the slogan: “For the many, not for the few”. Its most important elements were the nationalization of core sectors of the economy such as railways, postal services, energy and water supply as well as the abolition of the hated tuition fees which had meant that only rich people’s children had the opportunity to study. The electoral program was described as a tombstone for Labor by commentators in the UK, Denmark and many other countries. It was a radical showdown with Tony Blair’s New Labor that transformed Labor from a Labor party to a neoliberal party, and Blair himself now advised the British people not to vote for Labor.
It was going to go quite differently than the commentators had anticipated. Jeremy Corbyn and Labor mobilized the youth who massively voted for Labor. As a result, Labor lost 30 seats to 262, while May’s Conservative party lost 13 and had to settle for 317. The other major loser of the election was the Scottish Nationalists SNP, who went 21 mandates back to 35. This shattered SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to a quick referendum on Scottish detachment from the UK as well. For Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein went3 seats up to 7. The election result meant that the Conservatives no longer had an absolute majority in parliament, and therefore a demand grew in the party to have May removed as prime minister and party leader. However, the rush failed in the first place. Instead, she formed government with the help of the Northern Irish Unionist Party DUP, known for its radical opposition to abortion and for its support for the armed Unionist militias in Northern Ireland.
Labor’s major electoral drive was not enough to secure a system change, but the party had slipped dramatically on the Conservatives. The party went 9.6% to 40.0%, against 42.3% to the Conservatives. The result also gave substance to the contemplation of the Danish Social Democrats, where former Prime Minister Helle Thorning during the election campaign in line with Blair had asked not to vote for Labor.
The election campaign signaled a further right-wing radicalization of the ruling Conservative Party. During the election campaign, Britain was hit by several political assaults, carried out by British Islamists. That made May declare that she would settle a number of laws protecting human rights, according to. May was an obstacle to new and more draconian “terrorist legislation”. Among other things. she would increase the period in which suspects can be detained without being placed before a judge from 14 to 28 days. She would open up to arbitrary deportations of foreigners and to arbitrarily limit the suspect’s freedom of movement – even when there was no evidence to have the suspect convicted in court. It was May himself who, just a few years before, as Minister of the Interior had dropped 20,000 police positions, Saudi Arabia, the largest contributor to radical Islamism in the country.
In June, a high-rise building in London burned. 71 people died in the blaze. The high-rise building was predominantly inhabited by poor people and studies showed that the owner had been renovating the house but with poorly combustible materials. Despite the mass murder, authorities had not taken legal action against the owner at the end of the year.
The London High Court in July 2017 dismissed a case brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) NGO, which questioned Britain’s arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Already 1½ years earlier, the EU parliament had adopted a boycott of Saudi Arabia because of its war on Yemen. This boycott also violated Britain. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International criticized the London court’s ruling.
In December, the London High Court ruled that British soldiers in Iraq had violated the 4th Geneva Convention by mistreatment and degrading treatment of civilian Iraqi prisoners of war during the British occupation of Iraq in the ’00s. 4 Iraqis had filed suit against the British military, and in addition to being right they were awarded £ 84,000 in damages. The ruling fell 10 days after the ICC prosecutor’s office had declared that there was sufficient evidence that British soldiers had committed war crimes against civilian Iraqis. It was a trial. Compensation cases from 628 other Iraqis were under way, while 331 cases were settled to pay compensation. The course in the UK deviated strongly from Denmark, with the “judiciary” completely square in support of the Ministry of Defense’s claim that Danish prisoners of war had been treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.