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The now-infamous sale of the UK’s gold reserves under then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who went on to become British Prime Minister, happened between 1999 and 2002. The gold price was then at its lowest in twenty years, after a sustained bear market. Brown managed to justify and oversee the sale of around half of the UK’s gold reserves, approximately $3.25 billion, which constituted about a quarter of the country’s foreign currency net reserves, reports Oliver Taylor.
The 1992 Maastricht Treaty is more correctly known as the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and together with the Rome Treaty - the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) - forms the EU’s constitutional basis. Now years down the line, it can be easier to see where earlier predictions tally with realities in the European Union. A hotly divisive topic, amalgamation of the European nations was nonetheless relatively quietly manifested, states Oliver Taylor.
If there’s a continent that epitomises repeat referenda, it has to be Europe. Indeed, history seems to repeat itself often across Europe, and the advent of the European Union has spurred many such second-guesses of the initial public sentiment. More than that, this phenomenon has a history, as European nations repeatedly went back to the voting booth in order to cement public opinion over the last few centuries, thinks Shannon Berkley.
Brexit, from the citizen’s perspective, has become a disgrace. Although British politics have always been rather frank about engineering things to go a certain way, with snap referendums and impromptu votes peppering the litany, Brexit has become an albatross around the nation’s neck, states Oliver Taylor.
It is not fiction, nor speculation. As awkward as the “United States of Europe”may sound, or as Orwellian as the “European superstate” brand may seem, the concept of the European federation is more than just a fantasy - it is a plan that is rooted within the reality of the current European Union system, states Thomas Hughes.
Perhaps the ‘no deal’ scenario may not be as bad as advertised. Whilst the outcome of Brexit negotiations may seem unclear, whatever the future holds is unlikely to be much more difficult for British businesses to handle than the problems companies usually face every day, writes John Mills.
As the arguments for and against the EU continue to be heard in European courts, media,
and public debate, it has become jarringly fascinating to witness the pinnacle definitions stemming from these debates. What exactly are the costs for a nation’s democratic functioning in joining the EU? Asks Rachel Smith.
The general idea that is being promoted by the European Union and its supporters is that the bloc enables greater democracy, which in fact, was used as one of the main arguments in favour of the Treaty of Lisbon. In addition to a more democratic Europe, the bloc claimed that the treaty would make the EU more efficient, and that - it did says Oliver Taylor.
Plagued by a lack of necessary resources, governmental oppression and a completely decimated economy, the citizens of Latin America’s once most thriving nation have been in survival mode for soon nearly a decade. As we empathise with the plight of Venezuelans from the bottom of our hearts, there is also much that we can learn from this unfortunate situation, thinks Thomas Hughes.
We have become accustomed to the idea of cash, the feel of cash between our fingers, the action of counting through the bills and sending them on yet another voyage, traveling between the countless checkpoints of its many owners' hands in exchange for goods, services, information, loyalty, and more reports Thomas Hughes.
With notable commentators stating quite plainly that the UK’s Brexit is no closer to a working solution than before, the implications for PM Theresa May continue to dog her tenure, says Rachel Smith.