james-foley

Cameron Shortens Week-Long Holiday ...

The video of a freelance journalist, James Foley, beheaded by an ISIS fighter with a British accent had sent British Prime Minister David Cameron back...

city-londons

London Mayor Boris Johnson Said the...

According to London Mayor Boris Johnson, leaving the EU is a better option for the capital, rather than staying in an unchanging EU that does little f...

Philip-Hammond-the-new-de-007

Hammond Warns That Britain Could Le...

According to new Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, the UK could leave EU if it does not allow major UK concessions. He said it was “pretty clear” that...

scotty-wotty

The Advantages of a Scotland-Free U...

According to Newstatesman.com writer Bryan Glass, England has more to gain if Scotland voted for its sovereignty. He said that “devo max” is a bribe p...

Cameron Shortens Week-Long Holiday to Respond to ISIS Video

The video of a freelance journalist, James Foley, beheaded by an ISIS fighter with a British accent had sent British Prime Minister David Cameron back into the capital to create an emergency meeting regarding the British response to the threat.

According to the government, it is aware that there are British members among the Islamic State evident as the spokesperson in the video who beheaded James Foley had a British accent. They also warned that if ISIS were to gain Iran and Syria it could launch international attacks easily. British members of the terrorist group could also bring the danger into Europe.

A No 10 Spokeswoman had called the act “shocking and depraved.” The Spokeswoman also revealed that the Prime Minister is meeting with the Foreign Secretary and Senior Home Office Officials and other Offices to discuss the situation.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a Radio 4 Programme that Iran and Syria will be ISIS’ targets as their base for launching attacks against Europe and other countries. The fears of the Foreign Office is when the British fighters from ISIS returns. The individuals may bring state trouble if they are not contained properly.

He also said that the UK government opposes the ISIS with “every breath in our body.”

However, the UK retains its policy not to use ground troops in any event in Iraq, saying that they would only be sent in Iraq for training but not as combatants.

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London Mayor Boris Johnson Said the UK Must be Ready to Leave EU

According to London Mayor Boris Johnson, leaving the EU is a better option for the capital, rather than staying in an unchanging EU that does little for UK’s growth. Johnson said that UK Prime Minister David Cameron must be proactive and bold in demanding a renegotiation of UK’s EU membership.

Meanwhile, the Conservative party of Cameron had promised to hold open talks regarding the EU relations.

Johnson said that London’s £350 billion yearly could expand to £650 billion yearly by 2034 should EU agree to have London given new reforms, including trading with emerging markets. It could grow to £614 should the United Kingdom decide to pursue trade-friendly policies.

Meanwhile, the numbers become smaller, about £495 billion if the UK stays without a word from the EU

Gerard Lyons, a Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph banker, believes that the UK belonging in a reformed EU is the best scenario for the UK in the next 20 years.

Johnson said the UK must have no fear if it should leave the European Union. His comments are the latest in a series of prominent figures calling on Cameron to separate from the EU if the talks regarding its needs fail.

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Hammond Warns That Britain Could Leave EU If No Changes Made

According to new Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, the UK could leave EU if it does not allow major UK concessions. He said it was “pretty clear” that UK voters will reject EU membership in 2017 if they see no major changes in the EU in working with the United Kingdom’s interests. He added that other EU countries saw that change was needed.

Hammond stressed that “the status quo is not an acceptable way to run the Europe in future”. He added that the EU’s new offer had no change or negotiation. He iterated that it was his job to ensure that re-negotiation takes place for the good of the United Kingdom in the EU.

Hammond aims to ensure that there is change in balance in the competencies between the EU’s nations, have a resolution on how the EU could succeed and co-exist with non-Eurozone members, and ultimately work for the United Kingdom as well.

Political analysts saw Hammond’s assignment to Foreign Secretary as an attempt by British Prime Minister David Cameron’s conservative party to win back UKIP converters, those who have lost faith in the conservative government.

However, many Tories continue to place doubt on Philip Hammond’s capabilities to achieve major changes that will work for the United Kingdom in the European Union. His predecessor, Ken Clarke, warned that “right-wing headbangers” have invaded the Tory debate regarding the EU.

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The Advantages of a Scotland-Free United Kingdom

According to Newstatesman.com writer Bryan Glass, England has more to gain if Scotland voted for its sovereignty. He said that “devo max” is a bribe proposed by the UK to give the Scottish parliament more powers from Westminster. However, many people, including Scots, find the offer to be too late. Glass implies that nobody will believe that devo max would ever change the minds of the Scottish people or its government in a sudden surprise.

Glass views that if Scotland remains in England with the promise of devo max, it would only hurt England because Scotland will continue to ask for more powers. As compared to them having their own government, economy and constitution, they can grant all the powers sovereignty could give them, without troubling the entire United Kingdom.

Once Scotland also gains its independence, it would allow reinvestment of allocated Scotland funds to other areas of the United Kingdom. He also indicated that it could help resolve the West Lothian question, which allows Scottish MPs to vote on the legislation of England that does not affect Scotland directly.

Glass iterated that the problem is only cultural attachment and its historical union, but the facts are clear that Scotland’s independence weights big benefits for the United Kingdom, and would not affect England’s and Scotland’s productivity.

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Scotland May Become a “Fax Democracy” Upon Becoming Independent

According to UK political analysts, it is highly possible that Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, could only become a lobbyist in Westminster if Scotland ever wins its independence vote.

Analysts said that Scotland will have all the sovereignty to make political decisions independent of the United Kingdom, but it would reduce its capability to influence decisions in UK’s Westminster. Currently, Scotland has MPs who could express the opinion of Scotland and have heavy political leverage.

Scotland will also be unable to share the Pound Sterling with the rest of the United Kingdom. The entire country will enjoy the fruits of its decisions, but in the end, the terms of its independence also relies on other countries, including the members of the United Kingdom, as to the rights that it has.

With weakening influence, Scotland is likened to a “fax democracy” by political analysts. They describe fax democracies as proposals of council ministers being literally faxed to the offices of Westminster should it want to lobby for anything. Yet, as being only paper, it becomes weak.

Scotland’s political leverage will have severe reductions, which could affect its growth, aside from a reset credit rating and the restarting of its currency away from the Pound Sterling.

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Cameron Said EU is Too Big, Bossy and Interfering

The new Parliament of Brussels is facing trouble against British Prime Minister David Cameron’s want to appoint a Federalist as the next head of the European Commission. He said on Tuesday last week he will push to reform Brussels, which he considers too big, bossy and interfering.

Lately, the European Union had a number of setbacks after voters had given support to the opposition and Eurosceptics in the country. Fringe parties, hard-left and far-right have also gained public support. This urged the European Union to set up a meeting in Brussels to review their priorities in response to the clear public dissatisfaction

The British Prime Minister is pushing for a repatriation of powers to national parliaments. He said that the EU should concentrate on the things that matter and not on trying to do so much.

In France, extreme right Front National had a quarter of voters supporting them. Party leader Marine le Penn said that it was time France was protected against globalisation and preserve their country’s destiny.

UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage had also received great praise from a great share of the UK public and has become the inspiration for Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) political group.

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CBI Will Focus on Scottish Referendum and Economic Impacts

CBI President Sir Mike Rake is expected to say that it is difficult to see how Scotland’s independence will help investment and jobs in the country. The business lobby group, in its annual dinner, will host the president to make a speech. He will be highlighting the importance of the European elections and other economic problems Scotland and the UK will face once Scotland gains its independence.

He pointed out that other businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland can also feel the effects of Scottish independence.

However, the Business for Scotland, a pro-independence group, pointed out that more and more business will thrive in the hands of a Scottish government who understands the needs of its country’s business.

The CBI, a lobby group, had been left by the Law Society of Scotland, Aquamarine Power and Balhousie Care Group after the group had initiated on a “no” vote on Scottish independence. Some Scotland universities had also left the organisation because of its stance.

Sir Mike Rake pointed out that in isolation, one cannot be at its best. He added that open markets are an essential part of the UK and Scotland’s open economy.

Meanwhile, BoE Chancellor George Osborne sees the Scottish referendum as part of the economic challenges the UK will face as it will have significant impact once September arrives with results.

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Manufacturing Raises The Value of Sterling

UK’s Sterling is now at $1.6921 and it fell back $1.6906, and had surpassed the value of the Euro with 0.1% to €1.2184. UK’s PMI had risen to 57.3 from a 55.8 in March, indicating expansion, and it had surpassed economist’s expectations as they had only expected an increase by 55.4 in the previous year.

UK’s manufacturing sector contributes heavily to the increase in the Sterling’s value. According to Markit/CIPS, the PMI remained high for five months. UK’s manufacturing sector had also grown along with consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors. Orders were increasing in the country.

They also pointed out that UK manufacturers were creating 10,000 jobs a month at its present rate.

Manufacturing and production, catching up with the UK’s services industry along with the slowly-recovering construction sector, are contributing effectively to UK’s economic recovery as it balances the foundations of the new economy. However, economists said more is to be done for the construction sector, which was still 12% below its pre-crisis peak.

Strong export orders for UK manufactured goods also support the economy’s continuing recovery. Eurozone demand had increased as economies start to recover and austerities gradually become lax.

Economists are saying UK’s manufacturing sector is looking to start well for the 2014 second quarter.

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The UK is Recovering Quite Slowly According to Peston

According to Economics expert Robert Peston, the UK’s rapid economic recovery may be slow and that it may be dangerous because it is debt-fuelled. The UK’s indebetedness is falling rapidly with economic growth strengthening in the finances of households, banks and businesses. However, Peston pointed out that if the UK’s economy is not fast enough, an unexpected increase in interest rates will be highly damaging.

UK’s total debts is equivalent to 484% of its GDP by the end of 2013. The UK could reach the US debt level of 282% if it shuts down its gigantic global banks. UK’s indebtedness is falling, says Peston, despite small changes in the absolute amount of debt on the books of businesses and households. According to Peston, banking debt had fallen sharply to more than £100 billion in just a year.

Peston pointed out that the UK’s economic recovery is debt-fuelled and that it should be sustainable. However, households are still saving less than what they were and are not taking on larger debts. UK household debts are smaller than their incomes. While this is a safety net for UK interest increases, consumer debt is still high, which could have high interest rates make a grave impact on the UK’s recovery.

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UK Coal Again On the Verge of Insolvency

UK’s biggest coal miner is at the brink of collapse that can cost the UK 2,000 abandoned jobs. Last year, UK Coal was rescued by the Pension Protection Fund, which it chose over a proposal by Hargreaves Services to buy the company for £20 million.

UK Coal is asking for £10 million in government funding to close three of its deep pits in Britain and sell its surface mines.

UK Coal’s dilemma stems from the internationally low price of coal and it is burning its reserves despite a lack in break-even on its spendings. The strong pound and cheap imports of coal internationally, particularly Russia, had lowered the value of locally-produced coal.

According to General Secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers Chris Kitchen, the UK government should support indigenous and local energy supplies, especially now that the Ukraine crisis will have the UK turn a diplomatic row against Russia with economic sanctions, which would limit the supply of coal imported into the country.

The PPF helped UK Coal in July 2013 by providing a £2.2 payment, a £60m loan note and a promise of future dividends. It took on the liabilities of the company pension scheme that cost around £500 million for the company’s 7,000 members.