The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands to further European integration. On 9 -- 10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council; the treaty founded the European Union and established its pillar structure which stayed in place until the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009. The treaty greatly expanded the competences of the EEC/EU and led to the creation of the single European currency, the euro; the Maastricht Treaty reformed and amended the treaties establishing the European Communities, the EU's first pillar. It renamed European Economic Community the European Community, to reflect its expanded competences beyond economic matters; the Maastricht Treaty created two new "pillars" of the EU on Common Foreign and Security Policy and Cooperation in the Fields of Justice and Home Affairs, which replaced the former informal intergovernmental cooperation bodies named TREVI and European Political Cooperation on EU Foreign policy coordination.
The Maastricht Treaty and all pre-existing treaties, has subsequently been further amended by the treaties of Amsterdam and Lisbon. Today it is one of two treaties forming the constitutional basis of the European Union, the other being the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. While the current version of the TEU entered into force in 2009, following the Treaty of Lisbon, the older form of the same document was implemented by the Treaty of Maastricht; the signing of the Treaty of Maastricht took place in Maastricht, Netherlands, on 7 February 1992. The Dutch government, by virtue of holding Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the negotiations in the second half of 1991, arranged a ceremony inside the government buildings of the Limburg province on the river Maas. Representatives from the twelve member states of the European Communities were present, signed the treaty as plenipotentiaries, marking the conclusion of the period of negotiations. Only three countries held referendums.
The process of ratifying the treaty was fraught with difficulties in three states. In Denmark, the first Danish Maastricht Treaty referendum was held on 2 June 1992 and ratification of the treaty was rejected by a margin of 50.7% to 49.3%. Subsequently, alterations were made to the treaty through the addition of the Edinburgh Agreement which lists four Danish exceptions, this treaty was ratified the following year on 18 May 1993 after a second referendum was held in Denmark, with legal effect after the formally granted royal assent on 9 June 1993. In September 1992, a referendum in France only narrowly supported the ratification of the treaty, with 50.8% in favour. This narrow vote for ratification in France, known at the time as the ‘petite oui’, led Jacques Delors to comment that,'Europe began as an elitist project in which it was believed that all, required was to convince the decision-makers; that phase of benign despotism is over.' Uncertainty over the Danish and French referendums was one of the causes of the turmoil on the currency markets in September 1992, which led to the UK pound's expulsion from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
In the United Kingdom, an opt-out from the treaty's social provisions was opposed in Parliament by the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs and the treaty itself by the Maastricht Rebels within the governing Conservative Party. The number of rebels exceeded the Conservative majority in the House of Commons, thus the government of John Major came close to losing the confidence of the House. In accordance with British constitutional convention that of parliamentary sovereignty, ratification in the UK was not subject to approval by referendum. Despite this, the British constitutional historian Vernon Bogdanor suggests that there was “a clear constitutional rationale for requiring a referendum” based on the allocation of legislative power; the TEU entered into force on 1 November 1993. Treaties amending the TEU: Treaty of Amsterdam Treaty of Nice Treaty of Lisbon The treaty led to the creation of the euro. One of the obligations of the treaty for the members was to keep "sound fiscal policies, with debt limited to 60% of GDP and annual deficits no greater than 3% of GDP".
The treaty created what was referred to as the pillar structure of the European Union. The treaty established the three pillars of the European Union—one supranational pillar created from three European Communities, the Common Foreign and Security Policy pillar, the Justice and Home Affairs pillar; the first pillar was where the EU's supra-national institutions—the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Justice—had the most power and influence. The other two pillars were more intergovernmental in nature with decisions being made by committees composed of member states' politicians and officials. All three pillars were the extensions of existing policy structures; the European Community pillar was the continuation of the European Economic Community with the "Economic" being dropped from the name to represent the wider policy base given by the Maastricht Treaty. Coordination in foreign policy had taken place since the beginning of the 1970s under the name of European Political Cooperation, first written into the treaties by the Single European Act but not as a part of the EEC.
While the Justice and Home Affairs pillar extended cooperatio
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Member state of the European Union
The European Union consists of 28 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership. Unlike members of most international organisations, the member states of the EU are subjected to binding laws in exchange for representation within the common legislative and judicial institutions. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt policies concerning defence and foreign policy. Subsidiarity is a founding principle of the EU. In 1957, six core states founded the European Economic Community; the remaining states have acceded in subsequent enlargements. On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the newest member state of the EU. To accede, a state must fulfill the economic and political requirements known as the Copenhagen criteria, which require a candidate to have a democratic, free-market government together with the corresponding freedoms and institutions, respect for the rule of law. Enlargement of the Union is contingent upon the consent of all existing members and the candidate's adoption of the existing body of EU law, known as the acquis communautaire.
There is disparity in the size and political system of member states, but all have de jure equal rights. In practice, certain states are more influential than others. While in some areas majority voting takes place where larger states have more votes than smaller ones, smaller states have disproportional representation compared to their population. No member state has withdrawn or been suspended from the EU, though some dependent territories or semi-autonomous areas have left. In June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on membership of the EU, resulting in 51.89% of votes cast, being in favour of leaving. The United Kingdom government invoked Article 50 on 29 March 2017 to formally initiate the withdrawal process. Notes According to the Copenhagen criteria, membership of the European Union is open to any European country, a stable, free-market liberal democracy that respects the rule of law and human rights. Furthermore, it has to be willing to accept all the obligations of membership, such as adopting all agreed law and switching to the euro.
To join the European Union, it is required for all member states to agree. In addition to enlargement by adding new countries, the EU can expand by having territories of member states, which are outside the EU, integrate more or by a territory of a member state which had seceded and rejoined. Enlargement is, has been, a principal feature of the Union's political landscape; the EU's predecessors were founded by the "Inner Six", those countries willing to forge ahead with the Community while others remained skeptical. It was only a decade before the first countries changed their policy and attempted to join the Union, which led to the first skepticism of enlargement. French President Charles de Gaulle feared British membership would be an American Trojan horse and vetoed its application, it was only after de Gaulle left office and a 12-hour talk by British Prime Minister Edward Heath and French President Georges Pompidou took place that the United Kingdom's third application succeeded in 1970.
Applying in 1969 were the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway. Norway, declined to accept the invitation to become a member when the electorate voted against it, leaving just the UK, Denmark to join, but despite the setbacks, the withdrawal of Greenland from Denmark's membership in 1985, three more countries joined the Communities before the end of the Cold War. In 1987, the geographical extent of the project was tested when Morocco applied, was rejected as it was not considered a European country; the year 1990 saw the Cold War drawing to a close, East Germany was welcomed into the Community as part of a reunited Germany. Shortly thereafter, the neutral countries of Austria and Sweden acceded to the newly renamed European Union, though Switzerland, which applied in 1992, froze its application due to opposition from voters while Norway, which had applied once more, had its voters reject membership again in 1994. Meanwhile, the members of the former Eastern Bloc and Yugoslavia were all starting to move towards EU membership.
Eight of these, plus Cyprus and Malta, joined in a major enlargement on 1 May 2004 symbolising the unification of Eastern and Western Europe in the EU. They were followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and Croatia in 2013; the EU has prioritised membership for the rest of the Western Balkans. Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey are all formally acknowledged as candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidates. Turkish membership, pending since the 1980s, is a more contentious issue. Aside from the Cyprus dispute being a long-standing hurdle, relations between the EU and Turkey have become strained after several incidents concerning the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, the Turkish referendum, the resulting 2016–17 purges in Turkey; this has led to the European Parliament calling for a suspension of membership talks. Each state has representation in the institutions of the European Union. Full membership gives the government of a member state a seat in the Council of the European Union and European Council.
When decisions are not being taken by consensus, votes are weighted so that a country with a greater population has more votes within the Coun
The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located in Europe. It has an area of an estimated population of about 513 million; the EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency; the EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, established by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome.
The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit; the latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal. Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.
The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower. During the centuries following the fall of Rome in 476, several European States viewed themselves as translatio imperii of the defunct Roman Empire: the Frankish Empire and the Holy Roman Empire were thereby attempts to resurrect Rome in the West; this political philosophy of a supra-national rule over the continent, similar to the example of the ancient Roman Empire, resulted in the early Middle Ages in the concept of a renovatio imperii, either in the forms of the Reichsidee or the religiously inspired Imperium Christianum. Medieval Christendom and the political power of the Papacy are cited as conducive to European integration and unity. In the oriental parts of the continent, the Russian Tsardom, the Empire, declared Moscow to be Third Rome and inheritor of the Eastern tradition after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
The gap between Greek East and Latin West had been widened by the political scission of the Roman Empire in the 4th century and the Great Schism of 1054. Pan-European political thought emerged during the 19th century, inspired by the liberal ideas of the French and American Revolutions after the demise of Napoléon's Empire. In the decades following the outcomes of the Congress of Vienna, ideals of European unity flourished across the continent in the writings of Wojciech Jastrzębowski, Giuseppe Mazzini or Theodore de Korwin Szymanowski; the term United States of Europe was used at that time by Victor Hugo during a speech at the International Peace Congress held in Paris in 1849: A day will come when all nations on our continent will form a European brotherhood... A day will come when we shall see... the United States of America and the United States of Europe face to face, reaching out for each other across the seas. During the interwar period, the consciousness that national markets in Europe were interdependent though confrontational, along with the observation of a larger and growing US market on the other side of the ocean, nourished the urge for the economic integration of the continent.
In 1920, advocating the creation of a European economic union, British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote that "a Free Trade Union should be established... to impose no protectionist tariffs whatever against the produce of other members of the Union." During the same decade, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, one of the first to imagine of a modern political union of Europe, founded the Pan-Europa Movement. His ideas influenced his contemporaries, among which Prime Minister of France Aristide Briand. In 1929, the latter gave a speech in favour of a European Union before the assembly of the League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations. In a radio address in March 1943, with war still raging, Britain's leader Sir Winston Churchill spoke warmly of "restoring the true greatness of Europe" once victory had been achieved, mused on the post-war creation of a "Council of Europe" which would bring the European nations together to build peace. After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent.
In a speech delivered on 19
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon is an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union. The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, entered into force on 1 December 2009, it amends the Maastricht Treaty, known in updated form as the Treaty on European Union or TEU, the Treaty of Rome, known in updated form as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union or TFEU. It amends the attached treaty protocols as well as the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community. Prominent changes included the move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in at least 45 policy areas in the Council of Ministers, a change in calculating such a majority to a new double majority, a more powerful European Parliament forming a bicameral legislature alongside the Council of Ministers under the ordinary legislative procedure, a consolidated legal personality for the EU and the creation of a long-term President of the European Council and a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Treaty made the Union's bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights binding. The Treaty for the first time gave member states the explicit legal right to leave the EU, established a procedure by which to do so; the stated aim of the treaty was to "complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action". Opponents of the Treaty of Lisbon, such as former Danish Member of the European Parliament Jens-Peter Bonde, argued that it would centralize the EU, weaken democracy by "moving power away" from national electorates. Supporters argue that it brings more checks and balances into the EU system, with stronger powers for the European Parliament and a new role for national parliaments. Negotiations to modify EU institutions began in 2001, resulting first in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which would have repealed the existing European treaties and replaced them with a "constitution".
Although ratified by a majority of member states, this was abandoned after being rejected by 54% of French voters on 29 May 2005 and by 61% of Dutch voters on 1 June 2005. After a "period of reflection", member states agreed instead to maintain the existing treaties, but to amend them, salvaging a number of the reforms, envisaged in the constitution. An amending "reform" treaty was drawn up and signed in Lisbon in 2007, it was intended to have been ratified by all member states by the end of 2008. This timetable failed due to the initial rejection of the Treaty in June 2008 by the Irish electorate, a decision, reversed in a second referendum in October 2009 after Ireland secured a number of concessions related to the treaty; the need to review the EU's constitutional framework in light of the accession of ten new Member States in 2004, was highlighted in a declaration annexed to the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The agreements at Nice had paved the way for further enlargement of the Union by reforming voting procedures.
The Laeken declaration of December 2001 committed the EU to improving democracy and efficiency, set out the process by which a constitution aiming to achieve these goals could be created. The European Convention was established, presided over by former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, was given the task of consulting as as possible across Europe with the aim of producing a first draft of the Constitution; the final text of the proposed Constitution was agreed upon at the summit meeting on 18–19 June 2004 under the presidency of Ireland. The Constitution, having been agreed by heads of government from the 25 Member States, was signed at a ceremony in Rome on 29 October 2004. Before it could enter into force, however, it had to be ratified by each member state. Ratification took different forms in each country, depending on the traditions, constitutional arrangements, political processes of each country. In 2005, referendums held in France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitution.
While the majority of the Member States had ratified the European Constitution, due to the requirement of unanimity to amend the treaties of the EU, it became clear that it could not enter into force. This led to a "period of reflection" and the political end of the proposed European Constitution. In 2007, Germany declared the period of reflection over. By March, the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the Berlin Declaration was adopted by all Member States; this declaration outlined the intention of all Member States to agree on a new treaty in time for the 2009 Parliamentary elections, to have a ratified treaty before mid-2009. Before the Berlin Declaration, the Amato Group – a group of European politicians, backed by the Barroso Commission with two representatives in the group – worked unofficially on rewriting the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. On 4 June 2007, the group released their text in French – cut from 63,000 words in 448 articles in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe to 12,800 words in 70 articles.
In the Berlin Declaration, the EU leaders unofficially set a new timeline for the new treaty: 21–23 June 2007: European Council meeting in Brussels, mandate for Intergovernmental Conference 23 July 2007: IGC in Lisbon, text of Reform
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He was Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1997; as of 2017, Blair is the last British Labour Party leader to have won a general election. From 1983 to 2007, Blair was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, he was elected Labour Party leader in July 1994, following the sudden death of his predecessor, John Smith. Under Blair's leadership, the party used the phrase "New Labour", to distance it from previous Labour policies and the traditional conception of socialism. Blair declared support for a new conception that he referred to as "social-ism", involving politics that recognised individuals as interdependent, advocated social justice, the equal worth of each citizen, equal opportunity referred to as the Third Way. Critics of Blair denounced him for bringing the Labour Party towards the perceived centre ground of British politics, abandoning'genuine' socialism and being too amenable to capitalism.
Supporters, including the party's public opinion pollster Philip Gould, stated that the Labour Party had to demonstrate that it had made a decisive break from its left-wing past, in order to win an election again. In May 1997, the Labour Party won a landslide the largest in its history. Blair, at 43 years of age, became the youngest Prime Minister since 1812. In September 1997, Blair attained early personal popularity, receiving a 93% public approval rating, after his public response to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales; the Labour Party went on to win two more general elections under his leadership: in 2001, in which it won another landslide victory, in 2005, with a reduced majority. During his first term as Prime Minister, his government oversaw a large increase in public spending and introduced the National Minimum Wage Act, Human Rights Act, Freedom of Information Act, his government held referendums in which the Scottish and Welsh electorates voted in favour of devolved administration.
In Northern Ireland, Blair was involved in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement. Blair supported the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration, ensured that the British Armed Forces participated in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and, more controversially, the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Blair has faced criticism for his role in the invasion of Iraq, including calls for having him tried for war crimes and waging a war of aggression. Blair was succeeded as Leader of the Labour Party and as Prime Minister by Gordon Brown in June 2007. On the day that Blair resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official Special Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, an office which he held until May 2015, he runs the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was born at Queen Mary Maternity Home in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 6 May 1953, he was the second son of Hazel Blair. Leo Blair was the illegitimate son of two entertainers and was adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife, Mary.
Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who moved to Glasgow in 1916. In 1923, he returned to County Donegal. In Ballyshannon, Corscadden's wife, Sarah Margaret, gave birth above the family's grocery shop to Blair's mother, Hazel. Blair has an older brother, Sir William Blair, a High Court judge, a younger sister, Sarah. Blair's first home was with his family at Paisley Terrace in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh. During this period, his father worked as a junior tax inspector whilst studying for a law degree from the University of Edinburgh. Blair's first relocation was. At the end of 1954, Blair's parents and their two sons moved from Paisley Terrace to Adelaide, South Australia, his father lectured in law at the University of Adelaide. It was when in Australia; the Blairs lived in the suburb of Dulwich close to the university. The family returned to the United Kingdom in the summer of 1958, they lived for a time with Hazel's mother and stepfather at their home in Stepps on the outskirts of north-east Glasgow.
Blair's father accepted a job as a lecturer at Durham University, thus moved the family to Durham, England. Aged five, this marked the beginning of a long association. With his parents basing their family in Durham, Blair attended Chorister School from 1961 to 1966. Aged thirteen, he was sent to spend his school term time boarding at Fettes College in Edinburgh from 1966 to 1971. Blair is reported to have hated his time at Fettes, his teachers were unimpressed with him. Blair modelled himself on Mick Jagger, lead singer of The Rolling Stones. During his time there he met Charlie Falconer, whom he appointed Lord Chancellor. Leaving Fettes College at the age of eighteen, Blair next spent a year in London attempting to find fame as a rock music promoter. In 1972, at the age of nineteen, he enrolled for university at St John's College, reading Jurisprudence for three years; as a student, he played guitar and sang in a rock band called Ugly Rumours, performed some stand-up comedy, including parodying James T.
Kirk as a character na