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Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

English and Scottish get drunk most often, 25‑nation survey finds

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2021

No wonder! (hfk)

Date: 25‑01‑2021

Source: The Guardian

Average of more than 33 times last year is more than twice the rate of several other nationalities

Beer, pre‑pandemic. English people were among the least remorseful in the survey about getting drunk. 

The English and Scottish have topped an international league table of how often people get so drunk that they lose their balance and slur their speech.

The Global Drugs Survey (GDS) for 2020 suggests the UK’s drink problem is far more dangerous than use of any other drug. More than 5% of people under 25 in the UK reported having sought hospital treatment after getting drunk, compared with a global average of 2%. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Britain’s refusal to give the EU’s ambassador full diplomatic status is a childish insult

Posted by hkarner - 24. Januar 2021

Date: 23‑01‑2021

Source: The Guardian

This petulant slight echoes a move by the Trump administration – one that it quickly saw fit to reverse

‘Our man in Brussels, Sir Tim Barrow, was previously UK ambassador in Moscow and he is unlikely to take kindly to having his own status downgraded, which is the obvious reciprocal action the EU can take.’

Of all people in government Boris Johnson should be first to recognise the status of European Union representatives. His father, Stanley, was a European commission official for many years and the European taxpayer paid the prime minister’s school fees at the expensive Brussels International School and then Eton. 

However, in a row that has been rumbling for a year alongside Brexit trade talks, the government is refusing to give full diplomatic status to the EU’s ambassador to the UK, João Vale de Almeida and his 25‑strong mission. The Foreign Office claims it does not want to set a precedent by treating an international body in the same way it treats a nation state, with diplomats afforded the privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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View from the EU: Britain ‚taken over by gamblers, liars, clowns and their cheerleaders‘

Posted by hkarner - 2. Januar 2021

   Date: 31‑12‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Jon Henley

European commentators weigh in on what Britain’s departure from the EU means

Britain faces an uncertain future as it finally pulls clear of the EU’s orbit, continental commentators predict, its reputation for pragmatism and probity shredded by a Brexit process most see as profoundly populist and dangerously dishonest.

“For us, the UK has always been seen as like‑minded: economically progressive, politically stable, respect for the rule of law – a beacon of western liberal democracy,” said Rem Korteweg of the Clingendael Institute thinktank in the Netherlands.

“I’m afraid that’s been seriously hit by the past four years. The Dutch have seen a country in a deep identity crisis; it’s been like watching a close friend go through a really, really difficult time. Brexit is an exercise in emotion not rationality; in choosing your own facts. And it’s not clear how it will end.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Guardian view of Brexit: a tragic national error

Posted by hkarner - 2. Januar 2021

Date: 01‑01‑2021

Source: The Guardian Editorial

Britain is now out of the EU.

But this is a day of sadness, not of glory, for we shall always be part of Europe

‘This is a country divided over Europe. We were divided in the past and we will be divided in the future. Getting Brexit done is a fantasy.’

“And the answer is – we’re out.” Four and a half years have passed since the BBC’s David Dimbleby pronounced the result of Britain’s EU referendum. At 11pm on 31 December, his words became finally and fatefully true. The United Kingdom is now no longer part of the European Union or subject to its rules. We have closed the door and walked away. We are on our own. We’re out. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Guardian view on the future of the union: Britain faces breakup

Posted by hkarner - 31. Dezember 2020

Date: 30‑12‑2020

Source: The Guardian Editorial

The combination of Boris Johnson, Covid and Brexit is creating a constitutional crash that is waiting to happen in 2021

A demonstration calling for Scottish independence in Glasgow on 31 January 2020. There has been majority support in Scotland for breaking away from the UK in 17 successive opinion polls.

The Covid year has intensified potentially terminal strains within the UK’s four‑nation union. When Boris Johnson began to grapple with the seriousness of the outbreak, the impact on the union was probably low on his list of concerns. But, as 2021 beckons, Mr Johnson’s approach to Covid has become a catalyst of the possible breakup of the United Kingdom. Covid’s most lasting political legacy in these islands may be that, in its aftermath, the UK will no longer exist.

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The Observer view on the Brexit trade deal

Posted by hkarner - 29. Dezember 2020

Date: 27‑12‑2020

Source: The Observer editorial

A deal that makes us poorer, reduces global influence and imperils the nation’s integrity

Boris Johnson

Any deal is better than no deal. But the agreement that Boris Johnson struck with the European Union on Christmas Eve is no political triumph, no diplomatic feat. It will one day surely be regarded as one of the greatest‑ever deceits inflicted on the British electorate. We were told that a free trade agreement with the EU would be “one of the easiest in human history” to get, that we were “going to get a great deal”. We were told that a free trade agreement would give us “the exact same benefits” of EU membership without any of the obligations or financial costs.

Yet the deal Johnson has reached will inflict all the costs he denied it ever would. It will take some weeks to fully digest the many pages of legal text. But it is already clear that this deal will have enduring consequences for Britain in the coming decades: for the wellbeing and resilience of communities across a highly unequal nation; for the potential for the UK to be an influence for good in an increasingly unstable world; and perhaps even for the very integrity of our nation. Johnson’s act of national harm could not come at a worse time. It will set in train significant economic damage during a global pandemic that has left the NHS and economy reeling.

A serious price

That we have ended up here is no great surprise. It was always in the interests of both sides to reach a deal before this week’s hard deadline. But no number of bombastic speeches from Johnson can disguise that the realpolitik of negotiation finally forced him to grapple with Brexit’s fundamental tradeoffs. The man who has spent years telling voters Britain can gorge itself on cake now and forever has agreed to pay a serious price.

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Throughout history Britain’s ruling class has created crisis after crisis – just like now

Posted by hkarner - 29. Dezember 2020

Date: 27‑12‑2020

Source: The Guardian by John Harris

Boris Johnson’s run of bad decisions on Brexit and Covid have their roots in a saga of elite entitlement and superficiality

‘Then came the Brexit trade deal, and a familiar idea returned, that under the shambling exterior, the prime minister is some kind of swashbuckling genius.’

When the novelist John le Carré died earlier this month, among the passages quoted by journalists was a short excerpt from The Secret Pilgrim, published in 1990. In the book, the words are spoken by Le Carré’s fondly loved character George Smiley. “ The privately educated Englishman – and Englishwoman, if you will allow me – is the greatest dissembler on Earth,” he says. “Was, is now and ever shall be for as long as our disgraceful school system remains intact. Nobody will charm you so glibly, disguise his feelings from you better, cover his tracks more skilfully or find it harder to confess to you that he’s been a damned fool.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Majority of EU population feel good about bloc, study finds

Posted by hkarner - 19. November 2020

Date: 18‑11‑2020

Source: The Guardian

In the UK, 60% of respondents have a favourable view, the highest on record

Positive ratings about the EU were stable or higher than last year in almost all member states surveyed, Pew said.

More people hold a favourable view of the European Union than not in every member state surveyed in a new poll, while positive opinions in Britain – which left the bloc in January – are the highest on record.

A Pew Research Center study of eight EU countries also found more than half of respondents felt confident Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron would do the right thing, but far fewer showed as much trust in Boris Johnson. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit was no aberration. The European Union needs to learn from it

Posted by hkarner - 27. Oktober 2020

Date: 26‑10‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Vernon Bogdanor

Rather than centralising power, the union should realise that challenging members’ national identities sparks resistance

Donald Tusk (left) with Angela Merkel in Brussels earlier this year. Tusk warned of the implications of Brexit in 2016.

In fewer than 100 days, Brexit will have been completed. Britain will be outside the European Union customs union and the internal market. But Brexit poses questions for the EU as well as for Britain. It challenges what might be called the ideology of Europe. It is, after all, a serious matter for a democratic organisation when a major member state decides to leave. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How a “no deal” Brexit can be avoided

Posted by hkarner - 25. Oktober 2020

Date: 22‑10‑2020

Source: The Economist

It starts with acknowledging the consequences of one

Britain’s conservatives are fond of Australia, an Anglosphere place with a flourishing economy, fine weather and fabulous beaches. So when trade talks with the European Union were briefly suspended before resuming this week, and Boris Johnson told Britons they might end up not with the Canada‑style free‑trade agreement he wanted, but instead leave on “Australian terms”, he made the prospect sound beguilingly sunny.

This is typical Johnsonian spin. If the latest face‑to‑face talks should collapse and Britain end up with no deal, the terms on which it leaves would not be those that apply to Australia, which has many side‑deals and is seeking its own free‑trade agreement with the eu. They would be closer to those of Afghanistan, Bhutan or Congo: Britain would have no trade deal at all with its largest trading partner, and little prospect of getting one. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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