Home » UK

Category Archives: UK

PM Theresa May Calls Snap Election for June 8th

In a surprise statement from Number 10 Downing Street, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her courageous decision to go to the polls on June 8, 2017 which will ensure stability as Brexit negotiations begin.

“I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet, where we agreed that the Government should call a general election, to be held on June 8.

I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.

Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership, and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that.

Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result.

Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back. And as we look to the future, the Government has the right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe. We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world.

That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.

This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. But the other political parties oppose it. At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.

In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union.

The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standsill.

The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union.

And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.

Our opponents believe that because the Government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong.

They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.” — Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May (April 18, 2017)

UK-born Children of Foreign parents: UK Citizens, or Not?

by John Brian Shannon

It seems logical that when a child is born in a given country that he or she should automatically be awarded citizenship in that country — while the parents obviously continue to be citizens of their own country. But in a surprising number of countries that’s not how it works.

As in Saudi Arabia and other countries, so it is in the United Kingdom — as recently and publicly reaffirmed by the Home Office in the case of a Dutch couple whose child was born in the UK.

Once a baby decides they want to be born, where the Mother and Father happen to be at that point in time is completely irrelevant. Some of you may have had that experience.

It seems counter-intuitive in the extreme to deny a person born in a country… citizenship in that country.

Imagine what it would’ve been over the past 100-years if every British parent had to travel to the appropriate UK government office with reams of paperwork to prove the entire family tree, thereby allowing the child to have the right of British citizenship?

The population of Britain would’ve never reached 65-million. Ever! People would’ve thought twice about having children, some would’ve decided to not have any at all, while other kids would’ve been adopted to foster-parents in other countries. That’s not the way to grow an economy!

You’re either born in the country and therefore automatically a citizen of the country with all the rights and responsibilities thereof, or you’re born outside of the country and are a visitor, student, diplomat, or an invited worker with impressive credentials who was offered citizenship by the government.

But being a citizen isn’t all about the rights and privileges of citizenship, there are also the responsibilities of citizenship.

Britain - Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country... JFK

Citizen Rights and Responsibilities

For one; Every citizen is a potential ‘brand ambassador’ for their country; Whether a tourist in the UK asks for directions from a Briton, or if the British ‘brand ambassador’ is travelling outside the country, they are representing Britain 24/7 to the people around them in every word and every action whether they like it or not. Such words and actions are carefully watched in many countries. And it could occur that they are called upon to verbally discuss or defend a certain policy, or even the distant history of Britain — something at which all UK citizens should be exceptionally skilled. Training for this should begin at a young age and continue throughout their education.

Two; During wartime, able-bodied people are expected to shoulder some amount of burden to defend the country.  This can range from flying a warplane as the great flying ace Billy Bishop did for Britain and Canada (he was a Canadian who flew for the RAF in WWI) or, as in the American example, ‘Rosie the Riveter’ who left housewifely duties behind for 8-12 hours per day to rivet aircraft frames together as part of the WWII effort.

If you are willing to fight for Britain during wartime, then unquestionably, you are worthy of British citizenship. If you’re unwilling to fight for the UK, you’re unworthy of UK citizenship. It’s the ultimate citizenship litmus test!

Britain - Rosie the Riveter assembled aircraft 8-12 hours per day for the WWII war effort

‘Rosie the Riveter’ — Hundreds of thousands of American women assembled aircraft and manufactured weapons 8-12 hours per day during WWII. U.S. government poster.

Third; Able-bodied people are expected to become educated and contribute to the overall economy of the UK. Of course, they’re free to choose their university education and their career. But at the end of the day it’s not unreasonable to expect their choices will result in a net gain for the country, whether a cultural gain (an artist or homeless shelter worker, for example) or a true economic gain (a typical blue-collar or white-collar worker) or a clerical gain. It may be that they choose to serve their country in academia or in government. In any event, citizenship carries with it the obligation to contribute to the country that provided them with relative peace and prosperity, and a good education.

Fourth; The UK government should enact legislation that requires one year of compulsory military service to be served by age 25. If you’re a British citizen enjoying all of the rights and privileges of British society it’s completely reasonable to expect some sort of contribution to the national defense.

Of course, such gap-year military cadets may well find themselves helicoptered into flood ravaged regions to assist local authorities, or they may be learning how to fly a light aircraft, or working on a national infrastructure project where the military corps of engineers are building or rebuilding part of the national motorway system.

Britain would benefit by having students work on national infrastructure projects during their gap-year.

Personnel from RAF High Wycombe recreate the iconic Beatles Abbey Road album cover, parading the Armed Forces Day Flag on Armed Forces Day which falls on June 24th in 2017. Image courtesy of AECOM

During their gap-year military service, all of their necessities should be covered including free medical and dental coverage, food and shelter, and many recreational activities could be included.

In short, they should be encouraged to — learn hard, work hard and play hard — which the most successful nations have always done. And the least successful, haven’t.

At the end of their gap-year military service each cadet should receive a generous scholarship to the UK college or university of their choice. For those who wish to continue serving their country in the military, they should receive an equally generous scholarship that leads them toward a higher rank.

By creating a young cohort of military conscripts who can choose when to serve their gap-year military service, every young Briton will emerge from that military training as significantly brighter, bolder and more experienced citizens with skills that the young people of most countries won’t ever have.

That’s the way to build a smarter, stronger and more capable UK society, on the way to Building a Better Britain!

Starting March 29 Britain Decides it’s Own Future

by John Brian Shannon | March 27, 2017

On June 23, 2016 a majority of Britons decided to leave the European Union via democratic referendum, and it may be that leaving the EU will involve some inconvenience to citizens and a ton of work for the government.

Still, that’s a microscopic price to pay in order for Britons to be fully in control of their own future — instead of their future being controlled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels who seem ambivalent to the cares and concerns of British citizens, and who would rather continue to use the UK as a cash cow to fund their pet projects / and as the country that shoulders a disproportionate share of European defense via the UK’s strong NATO spending commitment.

From March 29, 2017 onward the future of Britain will increasingly be determined by Britons, and not by a foreign government. That alone is sufficient reason to bear any perceived inconvenience and the extra work involved in accomplishing the goal of a truly independent Britain.

British citizens working through their elected representatives can now create any type of country they want. Opportunities as big as the sky abound, let no person tell you that Britain can’t become all that she can and should be!

If any failure occurs henceforth, it will be the failure of not thinking ‘big enough’ — as the aspirations of Britons have been lowered to such a level in recent decades that even the basics seem unattainable and reserved for a lucky few; Things like a quality education for every student, a choice of jobs at the end of one’s education, a fulfilling career, along with a comfortable home within reach of every quintile group and a high level of public infrastructure throughout the country.

I urge the Home Office to create a website where British citizens can leave their suggestions to improve the country in any way (via a simplified form, in 300 words or less) where those ideas are automatically forwarded by relevant keyword to the affected departments. Undoubtedly, some of the suggestions will have merit, and the departments that thrive over time will (obviously) be the departments paying close attention to those submitted ideas.

Perhaps the Home Office will tabulate the suggestions by keyword and thereby be informed of which requests rank most highly among citizens. Even better if the Home Office rewards the people submitting the best ideas (via a free pass to visit London’s attractions) that show the government where to cut waste, resolve duplication of service issues, increase productivity, or streamline supply chains.

Now, after creating a great empire that survived two World Wars thrust upon it by continental Europe, after surviving the Cold War, and after generously agreeing to join the European Community in 1972 to help it unite continental Europe so that there will never be a war there again, the United Kingdom is now free! to become all that it can and should be.

With the right vision set by the government and the determination of the British people — Britain can thrive as never before — creating a country that works for all citizens, a country in which every Briton can take deep pride, and a country that excels in all sectors.

By listening to citizens and by adopting the optimum policies, the 21st-century will belong to Britain. Brexit is merely one step towards that best future!