In 2015, the population of the United Kingdom was estimated to be around 65 million people. The economy of the UK was heavily reliant on its exports of manufactured goods, services and financial services. In terms of foreign relations, the UK maintained strong ties with its neighbours in Europe such as France and Germany. It also had close ties with countries in North America and Asia. In terms of politics, the United Kingdom had a parliamentary system in 2015, with Queen Elizabeth II serving as head of state since 1952. The country’s main political party at this time was the Conservative Party, which held a majority in parliament and had been in power since 2010. Despite the Conservatives’ dominance, there were some opposition parties that were able to operate during this period albeit under strict control from the government. See ehealthfacts for United Kingdom in the year of 2005.
UK. According to COUNTRYAAH, London is the capital of United Kingdom which is located in Northern Europe. Prime Minister David Cameron upheld the government’s promise to give more power to the Scottish Parliament and in January presented its plan for increased Scottish autonomy. Among other things, Scotland was suggested to have greater influence over parts of the income tax. The Scottish Government’s ability to take out loans would also be increased. Scotland’s prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon, welcomed the desire to give Scotland more power, but criticized parts of the proposal she deemed insufficient.
- Also see AbbreviationFinder.org for United Kingdom country abbreviations, including geography, history, economy and politics.
The leaders of the three largest parties agreed in February that the country should eventually scrap all coal-fired power plants that do not use the latest environmental technology to reduce emissions. However, no timetable was presented.
Two Russian nuclear weapons planes – one of which was equipped with a robot to knock out submarines – crossed the English Channel in February. Norwegian signal detectors stated that it was a nuclear weapons exercise, but Britain regarded the incident as a deliberate provocation from the Russian Federation.
Former Foreign Ministers Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind have been in blustery weather since they were caught when they offered their political influence against payment to a Chinese company. After the disclosure, Rifkind resigned as chairman of the House of Commons intelligence committee.
Britain decided to send military personnel to Ukraine, with the task of assisting the training of Ukrainian soldiers. The military advisers were expected to Ukraine in early March.
As the first country in the world, the United Kingdom voted to allow a method to donate DNA from a third parent. The method, which is similar to a test tube fertilization, means that children can have DNA from three parents, which can stop severe diseases inherited in the mother.
New figures showed that GDP grew by 2.6% in 2014. At the same time, unemployment and the current account deficit were falling.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced in March that he plans to step down after the next term – if the Conservative party wins the election in May.
The controversial King Richard III, whose remains were found under a parking lot in Leicester in 2012, received a new resting place in the city’s cathedral 530 years after his death.
The electoral movement before the parliamentary elections in May was formally started on March 30. Opinion polls in April indicated continued strong support for the Scottish Nationalist Party.
In April, British fighter aircraft removed two Russian bombers that were close to British airspace.
The parliamentary elections were held on May 7 to nominate 650 seats in the British lower house. The Conservative party won its own majority in parliament. As a result, a vote on Britain’s EU membership was expected to become relevant.
After the election, the proportion of women in parliament increased to just over 29% compared to 23% in 2010.
Labor leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg and UKIP’s Nigel Farage resigned after the election defeat. However, the latter was back at the party leader post three days later after appeals from party members.
In the government declaration, the government promised, among other things, not to raise income tax, VAT and social insurance for five years. They also promised 30 hours of free childcare a week for all three- to four-year-olds. The parliaments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were promised increased powers.
In June, the Conservative Group for the United Kingdom (CFB) was formed by some 50 Conservative MPs. The group threatened with “Brexit”, an exit from the EU, unless the government withdraws power from the EU.
The House of Commons voted in June for the UK to hold a referendum on EU membership. An opinion poll indicated that 58% of the British wanted to remain in the EU, while 41% wanted to leave the cooperation.
In June, the state sold parts of the British post office Royal Mail and raised £ 750 million.
British police seized a drone that flew over Wimbledon’s classic tennis facility. After the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait, preparedness had been raised around known tourist destinations across the UK.
In July, the state budget was presented by Finance Minister George Osborne. The budget was characterized by austerity measures through reduced social spending, tax changes and reduced government spending. The corporate tax rate would be gradually reduced from 20% to 18% by 2020.
Thousands of migrants tried to get to the UK through the tunnel under the English Channel from Calais in France. Measures such as more police, new fences and more surveillance cameras were planned from both the UK and France. The government proposed a stricter immigration law that will, among other things, compel landlords to control foreign tenants’ residence permits. Immigrants working illegally in the UK were suggested to be punishable by up to six months in prison. Sanctions were also planned against companies that employ illegal labor. Despite the government’s attempts to limit immigration, new figures indicated an increase. From March 2014 to March 2015, 330,000 people had moved to the UK.
The pressure on the British government increased to take on more responsibility for helping people flee from war herds. From January 2014 until the beginning of September, Britain had received only 215 Syrian asylum seekers. A name gathering for the UK to receive more refugees was started. Shortly thereafter, the government presented a proposal in the lower house that Britain should receive 20,000 people from Syria by 2020. Scotland’s prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon, promised that Scotland could take responsibility for 1,000 asylum seekers.
The opinion for “Brexit” appeared to have swung in September. According to new figures, 51% of Britons now wanted the UK to leave the EU against 49% who were for continued membership.
The leftist Jeremy Corbyn was elected in September as new party leader for the Social Democratic Labor Party. The first opinion poll following the change of party leader indicated increased support for Labor.
Four Britons who were alleged to have fought or recruited members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization were charged with travel bans in September and had their assets frozen. According to British police, at least 700 Britons had traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with IS.
In October, the United Kingdom appealed to the EU to eliminate the VAT on health protection and other health products. This happened after more than 250,000 people signed an appeal.
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November, the government presented its plans to strengthen aviation security over the next five years and to increase the intelligence and security service by 1,900 people.
After long negotiations, the United Kingdom voted in December to take part in the bombings against IS in Syria. According to the Prime Minister, British authorities had succeeded in stopping plans for seven terrorist attacks in the UK over the past six months. The British are already participating in similar operations in Iraq. The first British airstrikes were carried out early the following day. It was aimed at Syrian oil fields.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)
|GDP growth rate
|GDP per capita
|GDP by sector
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line
|Distribution of household income
|Industrial production growth rate
|14.9% of GDP
|87.50% of GDP
|Foreign exchange reserves