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Westminster - In one of its first acts, Parliament voted to pass a legislative bill prohibiting overfishing at the national level, and imposing harsh penalties on violators. The Marine Life Conservation and Management Act 20XX imposes strict fishing quotas, authorizes local and regional governments to establish marine-protected areas in fishing areas and even to impose temporary closures, and cuts off government subsidies to deep-sea fisheries found in violation of the Act. It also establishes the Ministry of Fisheries and empowers it with appropriate powers to enforce proper fisheries management mechanisms, such as limiting the amount of time fishers could spend in the sea or prohibiting arrows, spears, firearms, or nets, for instance. It also set up monitoring mechanisms, such as monitoring organizations to ensure compliance of fisheries with the Act. The Act went into effect upon receiving Royal Assent from Queen Katherine of Cambridge on the same day. The passage of the Act so early in the Cameron administration, with seemingly little opposition in both houses of Parliament, and not long after the establishment of the Kingdom of Great Britain, indicates that marine life conservation has become a policy concern for the Her Majesty's Government, and will continue to be so for as long Cameron is Prime Minister.

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"Yes. Domestic and foreign fisheries will have to follow fishing quotas set forth by the Ministry of Fisheries. The Act would affect the amount of fish that fishermen are legally allowed to fish without adversely affecting existing fish stock within the British EEZ. As long Madagascan fishers operating within the British EEZ obey the quotas, and relevant regulations, there should be little effect on British-Madagascan fishing trade. Likewise, British fishers operating within Madagascan waters will follow Madagascan regulations."

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Westminster - Parliament voted to pass the Modern Day Slavery Prevention Act of 20XX, which imposes harsh sentences upon modern-day slave owners, as well as anyone participating in human trafficking, including but not limited to life sentences without the possibility of parole. It also establishes the Office of the High Commissioner for the Prevention of Human Trafficking (also known as the Anti-Slavery Commissioner) to oversee and coordinate government efforts on the issue of human trafficking; and establishes a nation-wide witness protection program to assist victims in the judicial process. This recent initiative stems from increased public awareness of the issue of human trafficking, if the public outrage of the arrest of several individuals in London on human trafficking charges several months earlier is any indication. Indeed, the previous Administration increased efforts to prosecute sex and labor trafficking offenders in the years prior to its collapse, succeeding in detecting and busting dozens of human trafficking rings, and in attaining a seventy percent conviction rate. Unfortunately, this efforts ceased when the Government collapsed, but the new Cameron Administration vows to continue on where its predecessor left off. "Slavery has long been widely considered to have been consigned to the dustbin of history," Home Office minister James Brokenshire told the BBC. "Unfortunately, this is not the case. Slavery has been persisting, and undergoing change as time passes on. We have seen increases every year in the number of cases reported, and I expect that will continue to increase." Jakub Sobik, an Anti-Slavery International lobbyist, backed up Brokenshire's statements by saying that slavery, especially sex slavery, "takes different forms" such as "forced prostitution, agriculture, [and] domestic cleaning." Often, perpetrators resort to "threats of violence, passports, pay, and psychological tools" to assert control over their victims, he says.
 

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London - England is one step closer toward having its own devolved parliament. In an attempt to resolve, or at least pave the way toward as such, the ongoing West Lothian question - whether or not non-English MPs have the right to legislate for matters that exclusively affect England - a procedural bill was introduced in the House of Commons, stipulating that any bills introduced in the House that exclusively concerns England receive the consent of a majority of MPs representing English constituencies before proceeding any further. This was based on one of several recommendations made by the McKay Commission, which was formed under the Britannia regime but conducted under the Camulodunum regime, to consider the question of English devolution and its possible effect on the House of Commons. Over the course of British history, the regions of Scotland and Wales gained one way or another a form of home rule (through the Scotland Act 1998 and Government of Wales Act 1998), but not England. Although there has historically been a low level of public support for a devolved English parliament, such support has been slowly but surely increasing in recent times, from 17 to 39 percent. The English Democrats Party, and several members of the Conservative Party as well, while lamenting the rather limited scope of the procedural bill, expressed hopes that "one day England would be placed on equal standing with the other countries in terms of governance."

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Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling stated in a public speech in Westminster that the Her Majesty's Government would close down four outdated prisons and replace them with two new state-of-the-art 'Hub' super prisons by the end of 20XX, and to "swap" a further six old prisons for new ones by 20XX. This initiative was based on ongoing review and evaluation of the policy proposal submitted by Britain's leading think tank, Policy Exchange. The report, authored by former prison governor Kevin Lockyer, advocated the closure of some thirty dilapidated prisons and replacing them with twelve massive new Hub super prisons, using cutting-edge architecture and technology; constructing the new prisons on brownfield sites near main transport routes; and allowing equitable competition between the public and private sectors in managing the new prisons. Through this initiative, the Government hopes to cut prisoner per capita costs (up to £600 million annually), reduce the re-offending rate, foster increased respect between prison staff and inmates, and improve the quality of life and safety measures.

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Edinburgh, Scotland - Controversy erupted when the Ministry of Fisheries unveiled plans to draft new regulations prohibiting the dumping of fish caught by deep-sea fisheries. According to Deputy Minister Serena Fisher, existing regulations under the Marine Life Conservation and Management Act, while barring overfishing, did not adequately address the issue of dumping, and in fact encouraged fishermen to dump their excess fish to avoid being penalized under the Act. The Common Fisheries Regulation, Fisher said, would help ameliorate the situation and reduce instances of dumping. However, fishermen groups, particularly the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF), disagreed with the Deputy Minister's statement, calling such proposed regulations "superficial". The proposed regulations, they said, would not help address the issue of dumping, much less reduce them, and actually would harm coastal and fishing communities across the Kingdom. Furthermore, the question of implementation came up: how would the Government actually enforce the regulations? There are thousands of fishing ships of all sizes around the country, and the Government simply cannot monitor them all. The question withstanding, Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon stated that he would work together with North Sea fishery nations - the Norse Kingdom, Prussia, Athens, Noord-Uniestaat, and Iceland - on resolving the issue of dumping. He stated that any regulations would have to take into consideration the interests and concerns of fishermen, and that working with them would be more successful than "simply imposing more regulation upon them." The Scottish Parliament has indicated that it would be "receptive" to any proposals that effect a comprehensive ban on fish dumping. As the Scottish fishing industry comprises a large proportion of the British fishing industry, Scottish fisheries spokesman Scott Tavish stated that the proposals are of great significance to Scotland and the rest of the Kingdom. "We need to work to end the dumping of marketable fish without destroying the very livelihoods of the fishing communities around Scotland's coast," he said.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Westminster - In what has been hailed by English MPs as a 'major victory', a bill introduced by Conservative MP Kenneth Clarke passed the House of Commons and House of Lords after a long, arduous process. The English Legislation Act 20XX restricts voting on legislation which exclusively affects England to English MPs. This differs from the earlier procedural bill in that English MPs, not their Scottish or Welsh counterparts, can vote on legislation that exclusively affects England. The procedural bill allowed non-English MPs to vote on legislation that exclusively affects England, but required that such initiative receive a majority of support from English MPs first. While the Act has brought England closer than ever to having its own devolved Parliament, it brings up one potential concern: what is an 'English Only' Bill? As several MPs in both Houses of Parliament pointed out, certain EO bills could have a knock-on effect north and west of the English border and thus allow non-English MPs to claim full voting rights. Furthermore, some Labor MPs in their opposition to the Act claimed that it would virtually reduce non-English MPs to 'second-class citizens' when it comes to legislative matters in England. Prime Minister Cameron and the Tories disagreed with such statements, stating that the Act aims to place England on a more equal footing with Scotland and Wales in the devolved legislative process. The debate surrounding the West Lothian Question will remain a major issue for the Cameron administration for some time to come.

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Westminster - Parliament voted to pass a bill establishing Britain's sovereign wealth fund for the first time in its history. The Sovereign Wealth Fund Act 20XX establishes a Sovereign Wealth Fund with the goal of maximizing returns from certain industries such as oil and gas. It also modernizes the Crown Estate by changing the way it manages its vast portfolio of assets - worth over £8.6 billion - on the behalf of the British people. The Bank of England would manage future liabilities such as pensions and debt, and to provide a venue for long-term national investment for infrastructure projects. The Government hopes that the Crown Estate would use its resources and assets carefully and rationally to invest in many sectors of the British economy, and thus encourage local job growth in many areas of the Kingdom, especially in the manufacturing, engineering, and green technology sectors. The same could be said for the petroleum industry, in which part of taxes on gas and oil would be channeled into the Fund. This would help new businesses receive the investment and capital needed to compete in the domestic British market and the global economy. This was the culmination of prolonged efforts over the past years and decades, under various administrations, to establish a long, over-due sovereign wealth fund.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Out of an isolated island of inactivity, an official message was dispatched from London to Dublin, requesting the Irish Government dispatch peacekeepers to the soon-to-be-defunct Kingdom of Great Britain. No reason were given, and any further inquiries went unanswered.

 

OOC: I was originally gonna return the land to Centurius, but lkfht told me that Cent had given the okay for GB to go to Ireland, so I'm going with that. Also, Cent, I apologize for my involvement in the plot, and thanks for letting me having Great Britain, I appreciate it.

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Once news was received about the request for Irish peacekeepers to be sent to Great Britain, President Leonardo Kennedy would dispatch the 2nd Carrier Strike Group to Aberdeen and the 1st Expeditionary Strike Group to Portsmouth. Naval assets would be able to deliever any humanitarian assistance that may be needed by the local population. The 2nd Expeditionary Strike Group will be deployed to the Faroe Islands to provide additional security. The 3rd Expeditionary Strike group will be deployed to the Isle of Man as well.

The 2nd and 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigades would be deployed to London and other major English cities. The 1st and 11th Infantry Divisions would be deployed to Glasgow and Scotland.

The air force would deploy 3 squadrons of F-35 and 3 squadrons of Su-34 aircraft to provide air support and protection. Airlift wings from many airbases in Ireland would fly in troops, equipment, and additional humanitarian aid in the coming weeks.
 

TO: Government of Athenian Federation
From: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Ireland
SUBJ: Great Britain

The government and the people have asked Ireland to provide peace and security for their nation. The people have also asked Ireland to take over political power and to lead them to a prosperous future. With your permission we would like to annex Great Britain in order to ensure it has a hopeful and productive future.


Sincerely,
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Minister of Foreign Affairs
Edited by lkfht
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