Economy and society
DOI link for Economy and society
Economy and society book
Most developed nations are subject to internal tensions, and many have been less successful than Britain in containing potential friction. Some countries are characterised by divisions arising either from religion, language, ethnicity, competing national identities, or urban–rural tensions. The demand for devolution to Scotland and Wales led to referendums in both countries in 1979. In Wales, the proposition was defeated, while in Scotland, the majority in favour was not high enough to meet the threshold stipulated in the relevant legislation. Regional inequalities within England are summed up by the often-used expression ‘the north–south divide’. Anti-Irish sentiment was strong in some areas, and the arrival of black and Asian immigrants in the second half of the twentieth century created new social tensions, while more recent years have seen some hostility directed towards migrant workers from Poland and Romania, who moved to Britain to work under the auspices of the European Union’s ‘free movement of labour’.