The State of Freedom in the UK
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Despite many predictions to the contrary, the British Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Cameron, secured a majority in the House of Commons in this month’s general election. The Liberal Democrats, who joined the Conservatives in government in 2010, and the Labour Party both suffered losses. In Scotland, nationalists took all but three of Scotland’s 59 seats.
The Conservative victory raises a host of questions related to the future of freedom in the United Kingdom. Speaking the day after the election Cameron said that his government would deliver a referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union, which will undoubtedly prompt debate on the merits of the free movement of goods and people. Cameron also said that his government will devolve powers to Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, a commitment that will spur on discussion about localism and the role of central government. Despite winning a majority, the Conservatives will have to defend their economic plan, which will be strongly opposed by left‐wing parties in the House of Commons.
Mark Littlewood, the director‐general of the London‐based Institute of Economic Affairs, will join Cato scholars and Iain Murray, vice president for strategy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, for a discussion on the outcome of the election and what it means for the state of freedom in the UK.