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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

What is Brexit?

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

What does “Brexit” stand for?

The term is a commonly-used abbreviation for British exit from the EU.

How will it be decided?

The decision hangs on the result of a national referendum, currently being prepared by the government.

When will the referendum be held?

The referendum looks likely to be held as early as June 2016 although it could be put back to the Autumn if David Cameron does not reach a deal before the February 19 meeting of EU leaders.

What will the question be?

The question will ask: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’

What happens next?

David Cameron’s Bill on the EU referendum has been passed by Parliament.

Meanwhile, he is trying to secure a better deal from the EU by negotiating with fellow European leaders on issues such as migrants’ access to welfare

What is the expected result?

Most polls show the British public is roughly evenly divided about the country’s future in the EU, with a slight bias towards staying

Boris Johnson backs Brexit

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Boris Johnson today says that Britain has a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to vote to leave the European Union as a way of securing an entirely new relationship with Brussels based around the single market.

He says that “EU history shows that they only really listen to a population when it says No”.

 

He calls for Britain to have a deep and co-operative relationship with the EU “on the lines originally proposed by Winston Churchill: interested, associated, but not absorbed; with Europe – but not comprised”.

His decision will electrify the referendum campaign and came as a major blow to David Cameron just one day after the Prime Minister called the June 23 vote.

Brexit

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Brexit – what would happen if Britain left the EU?

Growth, trade, immigration, jobs, diplomacy: what would the impact be if a 2017 referendum pushed UK towards the exit?

Starting with the estimates that leaving would be a net loss to the UK economy, one analysis often cited is from researchers at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in 2004. They found an exit from the EU would permanently reduce UK GDP by 2.25%, mainly because of lower foreign direct investment. the UK could suffer income falls of between 6.3% to 9.5% of GDP, similar to the loss resulting from the global financial crisis of 2008-09. That is under the researchers’ pessimistic scenario, in which the UK is not able to negotiate favourable trade terms. Under an optimistic scenario, in which the UK continues to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, losses would be 2.2% of GDP. Those most passionately opposed to a Brexit, meanwhile, say leaving the EU would shut the UK out of its most important market (the EU) and from other markets around the world that have trade agreements with the EU (but not with the UK in isolation). More than half of businesses (57%) believe that remaining a member of the EU, with more powers brought back to Westminster, would be positive. However, 28% of firms also view withdrawal combined with a formal UK-EU free trade agreement as a positive scenario. But only half that proportion, 13%, view withdrawal without such an agreement as positive. In The Trouble with Europe, Bootle tries to assess what this all means for the UK economy. Looking at goods and services exports as well as what the UK earns on overseas investments, the proportion of total receipts from abroad that come from the EU is just over 40%, Bootle says. Although this probably exaggerates the true importance of the EU in British trade, says the economist, given distortions to the figures from factors such as UK companies exporting to ports in the EU only to re-export beyond the region.

English pupils ‘less tolerant on immigration’

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

School pupils in England have less tolerant attitudes to immigration, and are less interested in news than their international peers, a study finds. The research showed a hardening of attitudes on immigrants, jail sentences and benefit payments as students in England got older. The National Foundation for Educational Research also found that English pupils’ knowledge of the EU was poor.

But it found that regular citizenship classes could raise civic involvement.

The research tracked the attitudes of some 24,000 pupils over nine years, as they aged from 11 to 18.

It showed that over time, the cohort experienced a hardening of attitudes towards refugees and immigrants, jail sentences and benefit payments. It also showed their trust in politicians declined.

The researchers also compared the attitudes of English teenagers with those of their international counterparts.

This revealed that English pupils had attitudes which were “broadly democratic and tolerant”, the study said.

But “their tolerance of immigration is well below the international average and their view of European migration is particularly critical,” the researchers said.

English pupils had a “low” level of interest in social and political issues, the study found.

The report’s authors noted that this is an international trend, but that English young people had a level of news media interest significantly below the international average.

Pupils in England scored significantly above average in the international test of civic knowledge and understanding when compared to all participating countries.

But when compared only to their European counterparts, their performance was average.

Their knowledge of the European Union was significantly below that of other pupils in Europe, with English pupils scoring the worst on many questions of all 24 member states that took part in the study.

Pupils in England had a strong sense of national identity, which outweighed their sense of European identity.

The report’s authors noted that this is an international trend, but that English young people had a level of news media interest significantly below the international average.

Pupils in England scored significantly above average in the international test of civic knowledge and understanding when compared to all participating countries.

But when compared only to their European counterparts, their performance was average.

Their knowledge of the European Union was significantly below that of other pupils in Europe, with English pupils scoring the worst on many questions of all 24 member states that took part in the study.

Pupils in England had a strong sense of national identity, which outweighed their sense of European identity.

‘Weakening attachment’

The research also showed a weakening of English pupils’ attachment to their communities at local, national and European level, although their attachment to their school communities remained strong.

Trust in social, civil and political institutions also remained high, although 33% reported in the latest survey that they do not trust politicians “at all” – up from 20% at age 11.

The findings indicated that when citizenship education learning is delivered in slots of more than 45 minutes per week on a regular basis, it can improve young people’s chances of positive involvement in civic activities.

It also suggested that this can lead to young people feeling more able to make a difference to their communities.

Citizenship became compulsory for pupils aged 11 to 16 in September 2002 and a GCSE is available in the subject.

In the citizenship classes, young people learn about democracy and justice, the structure of political systems and how to function in that structure.

Curriculum shake-up

But Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he wants to slim down the national curriculum.

On Sunday he told the BBC that “hundreds of pages of prescription” aimed at teachers would be removed.

The Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) last month said it understood that citizenship will be made non-statutory in the coming curriculum shake-up.

It fears this will mean the end for a subject which, it says, chimes with the Conservatives’ “Big Society” idea.

The government said it had not decided the future status of any subject.

Millicent Scott, Development Manager at the ACT said citizenship education, when taught well, equipped young people with the skills to appreciate the intricacies of controversial issues:

“The future health of British democracy will only be secure if we have an active, engaged electorate who participate in public life. Citizenship education supports the development of these skills.”

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said citizenship classes were “a very important part of education” But she said many schools struggle to find sufficient time to teach it properly. “Also, as the report suggests, teachers need to have access to training in order to be able to teach the subject effectively,” she added.

Citizenship education is statutory in some form in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and is one of the national priorities for education in Scotland.

Pupils in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were not included in the study.

the Irish vote

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

 Here is a short video about the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty from Sinn Fein (it is a nationalist party opposed to the treaty). This video presents the arguments against the treaty. Try to make a list of the reasons why they are opposed to it.