Brexit is the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Following a referendum held on 23 June 2016 in which 51.9 per cent of those voting supported leaving the EU, the invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union started a two-year process, due to conclude with the UK's exit on 29 March 2019, a deadline, extended to 31 October 2019. Withdrawal has been advocated by Eurosceptics, both left-wing and right-wing, while pro-Europeanists, who span the political spectrum, have advocated continued membership; the UK joined the European Communities in 1973 under the Conservative government of Edward Heath, with continued membership endorsed by a referendum in 1975. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EC was advocated by the political left, with the Labour Party's 1983 election manifesto advocating full withdrawal. From the 1990s, opposition to further European integration came from the right, divisions within the Conservative Party led to rebellion over the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.
The growth of the UK Independence Party in the early 2010s and the influence of the cross-party People's Pledge campaign have been described as influential in bringing about a referendum. The Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron pledged during the campaign for the 2015 UK General Election to hold a new referendum—a promise which he fulfilled in 2016 following pressure from the Eurosceptic wing of his party. Cameron, who had campaigned to remain, resigned after the result and was succeeded by Theresa May, his former Home Secretary, she called a snap general election less than a year but lost her overall majority. Her minority government is supported in key votes by the Democratic Unionist Party. On 29 March 2017, the Government of the United Kingdom invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. May announced the government's intention not to seek permanent membership of the European single market or the EU customs union after leaving the EU and promised to repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 and incorporate existing European Union law into UK domestic law.
Negotiations with the EU started in June 2017. In November 2018, the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and Outline Political Declaration, agreed between the UK Government and the EU, was published; the House of Commons voted against the deal by a margin of 432 to 202 on 15 January 2019, again on 12 March with a margin of 391 to 242 against the deal. On 14 March 2019, the House of Commons voted for the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to ask the EU for such an extension of the period allowed for the negotiation; the broad consensus among economists is that Brexit will reduce the UK's real per capita income in the medium term and long term, that the Brexit referendum itself had damaged the economy. Studies on effects since the referendum show a reduction in GDP, trade and investment, as well as household losses from increased inflation. Brexit is to reduce immigration from European Economic Area countries to the UK, poses challenges for UK higher education and academic research; as of March 2019, the size of the "divorce bill"—the UK's inheritance of existing EU trade agreements—and relations with Ireland and other EU member states remains uncertain.
The precise impact on the UK depends on. In the wake of the referendum of 23 June 2016, many new pieces of Brexit-related jargon have entered popular use. Article 50 Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is a procedure in treaty that sets out how member states can leave the Union, with a two-year timetable for leaving. Article 50 was triggered by Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of March 2017. Backstop A term referring to the government's proposal to keep Northern Ireland in some aspects of the European Union Customs Union and of the European Single Market to prevent a hard border in Ireland, so as not to compromise the Good Friday Agreement. In principle, it is a temporary measure while the United Kingdom identifies and develops a technology that operates customs and other controls as between the UK and the EU, without any evident border infrastructure, there must be compliance with section 10 of the European Union Act 2018, on "Continuation of North-South co-operation and the prevention of new border arrangements."Blind/ Blindfold Brexit Coined in September 2018 to describe a scenario where the UK leaves the EU without clarity on the terms of a future trade deal.
EU and British negotiators would have until 31 December 2020 to sign off on a future trade deal, during which time the UK will remain a member of the EU, but with no voting rights. Brexit Brexit is a portmanteau of "British" and "exit". Grammatically, it has been called a complex nominal; the first attestation in the Oxford English Dictionary is a Euractiv blog post by Peter Wilding on 15 May 2012. It was coined by analogy with "Grexit", attested on 6 February 2012 to refer to a hypothetical withdrawal of Greece from the eurozone. At present, Brexit is impending under the EU Treaties and the UK Acts of Parliament, the current negotiations pursuant thereto. Canada plus/ Canada model This is shorthand for a model where the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and signs a free trade agreement; this would allow the UK to control its own trade policy as opposed to jointly negotiating alongside the European Union, but would require rules of origin agreements to be reached for UK–EU trade. It is this would lead to trade be
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her "The'Iron Lady'", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style; as Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism. She studied chemistry at Somerville College and worked as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his Conservative government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, she became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.
Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher's popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her decisive re-election in 1983, she survived an assassination attempt in the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge was unpopular, her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet, she resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke in London at the age of 87. Always a controversial figure, she is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers, her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925, in Lincolnshire, her parents were Alfred Roberts, from Northamptonshire, Beatrice Ethel, from Lincolnshire. She spent her childhood in Grantham. In 1938, prior to the Second World War, the Roberts family gave sanctuary to a teenage Jewish girl who had escaped Nazi Germany. Margaret, with her pen-friending elder sister Muriel, saved pocket money to help pay for the teenager's journey. Alfred Roberts was an alderman and a Methodist local preacher, brought up his daughter as a strict Wesleyan Methodist, attending the Finkin Street Methodist Church.
He stood as an Independent. He served as Mayor of Grantham in 1945–46 and lost his position as alderman in 1952 after the Labour Party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950. Margaret Roberts attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School, a grammar school, her school reports showed continual improvement. She was head girl in 1942–43. In her upper sixth year she applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Oxford's Somerville College, a women's college at the time, but she was rejected and was offered a place only after another candidate withdrew. Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours, in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin, her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin. Thatcher did not devote herself to studying chemistry as she only intended to be a chemist for a short period of time.
While working on the subject, she was thinking towards law and politics. She was prouder of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than becoming the first woman, as Prime Minister attempted to preserve Somerville as a women's college. During her time at Oxford, she was noted for her isolated and serious attitude, her first boyfriend, Tony Bray, recalled that she was "very thoughtful and a good conversationalist. That's what interested me, she was good at general subjects". Her enthusiasm for politics as a girl made him think of her as "unusual". Bray met Roberts' parents and described them as "slightly austere" and "very proper". At the end of the term at Oxford, Bray became more distant and hoped for their relationship to "fizzle out". Bray recalled that he thought Roberts had taken the relationship more than he had done; when asked about Bray in life, Thatcher prevaricated but acknowledged the circumstances between herself and Bray. Roberts became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946.
She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, which condemned economic intervention by government as a
Iain Duncan Smith
George Iain Duncan Smith referred to by his initials IDS, is a British Conservative Party politician. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 2010 to 2016, he was the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2001 to 2003, he was first elected to Parliament at the 1992 general election as the MP for Chingford—which he represented until the constituency's abolition in 1997—and he has since represented its successor constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green. Duncan Smith was born in Edinburgh and served in the Scots Guards from 1975 to 1981, seeing tours in Northern Ireland and Rhodesia, he joined the Conservative Party in 1981, succeeded William Hague as Conservative Leader in 2001. Duncan Smith was the first Catholic to serve as a Conservative Leader, the first to be born in Scotland since Arthur Balfour. In 2010, The Tablet named him one of Britain's most influential Catholics. Many Conservative MPs came to consider him incapable of winning an election when he was Conservative Party Leader.
In 2003, Conservative MPs passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership. Returning to the backbenches, he founded the centre-right Centre for Social Justice, a think tank independent of the Conservative Party, became a published novelist. On 12 May 2010, the new Prime Minister, David Cameron, appointed Duncan Smith to serve in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, he resigned from the Cabinet on 18 March 2016, in opposition to Chancellor George Osborne's proposed cuts to disability benefits. Duncan Smith was born in Edinburgh, the son of Wilfrid George Gerald "W. G. G." Duncan Smith, a decorated Royal Air Force flying ace of the Second World War, Pamela Summers, a ballerina. His parents married in 1946. One of his maternal great-grandmothers was Ellen Oshey, a Japanese woman living in Beijing who married Pamela's maternal grandfather, Irish merchant seaman Captain Samuel Lewis Shaw. Through Ellen and Samuel, Duncan Smith is related to Canadian CBC wartime broadcaster Peter Stursberg and his son, current CBC vice-president Richard Stursberg.
Duncan Smith was educated at Bishop Glancey Secondary Modern, until the age of 14 until he was 18 at HMS Conway, a Merchant Navy training school on the Isle of Anglesey, where he played rugby union in the position of fly-half alongside Clive Woodward at centre. In 1975, he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Scots Guards. According to the BBC, Duncan Smith's biography on the Conservative Party website and his entry in Who's Who stated that he had studied at the University of Perugia in Italy. A BBC investigation in 2002 found this statement to be untrue. In response to the BBC story, Duncan Smith's office stated that he had in fact attended the Università per Stranieri, a different institution in Perugia, for a year, he did not sit exams, or gain any qualifications there. Duncan Smith's biography, on the Conservative Party website stated that he was "educated at Dunchurch College of Management" but his office confirmed that he did not gain any qualifications there either, that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total.
Dunchurch was the former staff college for GEC Marconi. Duncan Smith was commissioned into the Scots Guards as a second lieutenant on 28 June 1975, with the service number 500263, he was promoted to lieutenant on 28 June 1977, retired from the military on 2 April 1981, moving to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers. He ceased to belong to the Reserve of Officers on 29 June 1983. During his service, Duncan Smith served in Northern Ireland and the region known as Southern Rhodesia, where he was aide-de-camp to Major-General Sir John Acland, commander of the Commonwealth Monitoring Force monitoring the ceasefire during elections. At the 1987 general election Duncan Smith contested the constituency of Bradford West, where the incumbent Labour Party MP Max Madden retained his seat. At the 1992 general election he stood in the London constituency of Chingford, a safe Conservative seat, following the retirement of Conservative MP, Norman Tebbit, he became a member of the House of Commons with a majority of nearly 15,000.
A committed Eurosceptic, Duncan Smith became a constant thorn in the side of Prime Minister John Major's government of 1992 to 1997, opposing Major's pro-European agenda at the time. Duncan Smith remained on the backbenches until 1997, when the new Conservative leader William Hague brought him into the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Social Security Secretary. At the 1997 general election, boundary changes saw his constituency renamed Chingford and Woodford Green and his majority of 14,938 was reduced to 5,714. Duncan Smith realised the dangers that he and neighbouring Conservative MPs faced, so redoubled his efforts: "We spent the final week of the campaign working my seat as if it was a marginal. I held on but everywhere around me went." In 1999, Duncan Smith replaced John Maples as Shadow Defence Secretary. William Hague resigned after the Labour Party continued in
William Jefferson Hague, Baron Hague of Richmond, is a British Conservative politician and life peer. He represented Richmond, Yorkshire, as its Member of Parliament from 1989 to 2015 and was the Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001, he was Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014 and was the Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015. Hague was educated at Wath Comprehensive School, the University of Oxford and INSEAD, subsequently being returned to the House of Commons at a by-election in 1989. Hague rose through the ranks of the government of John Major and was appointed to Cabinet in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales. Following the Conservatives' defeat at the 1997 general election by the Labour Party, he was elected Leader of the Conservative Party at the age of 36, he resigned as Conservative Leader after the 2001 general election following his party's second defeat, at which the Conservatives made a net gain of just one seat. He returned to the backbenches, pursuing a career as an author, writing biographies of William Pitt the Younger and William Wilberforce.
He held several directorships, worked as a consultant and public speaker. After David Cameron was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, Hague was reappointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Foreign Secretary, he assumed the role of "Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet" serving as Cameron's deputy. After the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010, Hague was appointed First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary. Cameron described him as his "de facto political deputy". On 14 July 2014, Hague became Leader of the House of Commons, he did not stand for re-election at the 2015 general election. Hague was awarded a life peerage in the 2015 Dissolution Honours List on 9 October 2015. Hague was born on 26 March 1961 in Rotherham, England, he boarded at Ripon Grammar School and attended Wath Comprehensive School, a state secondary school near Rotherham. His parents and Stella Hague, ran a soft drinks manufacturing business where he worked during school holidays, his childhood nurse, Bessie Camm, went on to be the oldest living person in Britain from 2016 until her death in 2018, aged 113.
He first made the national news at the age of 16 by addressing the Conservatives at their 1977 Annual National Conference. In his speech he told the delegates: "half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time... but that others would have to live with consequences of a Labour Government if it stayed in power". Writing in his diary at the time Kenneth Rose noted that Peter Carrington told him that "he and several other frontbench Tories were nauseated by the much-heralded speech of a sixteen-year-old schoolboy called William Hague. Peter said to Norman St John Stevas:'If he is as priggish and self-assured as that at sixteen, what will he be like in thirty years' time? Norman replied:'Like Michael Heseltine'". Hague read Philosophy and Economics at Magdalen College, graduating with first-class honours, he was President of the Oxford University Conservative Association, but was "convicted of electoral malpractice" in the election process. OUCA's official historian, David Blair, notes that Hague was elected on a platform pledging to clean up OUCA, but that this was "tarnished by accusations that he misused his position as Returning Officer to help the Magdalen candidate for the presidency, Peter Havey.
Hague was playing the classic game of using his powers as President to keep his faction in power, Havey was duly elected.... There were accusations of blatant ballot box stuffing", he served as President of the Oxford Union, an established route into politics. After Oxford, Hague went on to study for a Master of Business Administration degree at INSEAD, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where Archie Norman was his mentor. Hague contested Wentworth unsuccessfully in 1987, before being elected to Parliament at a by-election in 1989 as Member for the safe Conservative seat of Richmond, North Yorkshire, where he succeeded former Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Following his election he became the then-youngest Conservative MP and despite having only become an MP, Hague was invited to join Government in 1990, serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont. After Lamont was sacked in 1993, Hague moved to the Department of Social Security where he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.
The following year he was promoted as Minister of State in the DSS with responsibility for Social Security and Disabled People. His fast rise up through Government was attributed to his debating skills. Hague was appointed a Cabinet Minister in 1995 as Secretary of State for Wales, he continued serving in Cabinet until the Conservatives were replaced by Labour at the 1997 general election. Following the 1997 general election defeat, Hague was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in succession to John Major, defeating more experienced figures such as Kenneth Clarke and Michael Howard. At the age of 36, Hague was tasked with rebuilding the Conservative Party by attempting to build a more modern image. £250,000 was spent on the "Listening to Britain" campaign to try to put the Conservatives back in touch with the public after losing power.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, or informally Work and Pensions Secretary is a post in the British Cabinet, responsible for the Department for Work and Pensions. It was created on 8 June 2001 by the merger of the Employment division of the Department for Education and Employment and the Department of Social Security; the Ministry of Pensions was created in 1916 to handle the payment of war pensions to former members of the Armed Forces and their dependants. In 1944 a separate Ministry of National Insurance was formed. In 1966 the Ministry was renamed the Ministry of Social Security, but this was short-lived, as the Ministry merged with the Ministry of Health in 1968 to form the Department of Health and Social Security. Confusingly, the Secretary of State responsible for this Department was titled the Secretary of State for Social Services; the Department was de-merged in 1988, creating the separate Department of Health and Department of Social Security. Colour key: Labour Conservative Liberal National Labour National Independent Posts of Minister of Pensions and Minister of National Insurance merged in 1953.
Secretary of State for Employment
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
The Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is an office within British politics held by a member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. The duty of the office holder is to scrutinise the actions of the government's Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and develop alternative policies; the office holder is a member of the Shadow Cabinet
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis