Country report. Non-discrimination: transposition and implementation at national level of Council Directives 2000/43 and 2000/78: United Kingdom 201

European Union Publications Office
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The United Kingdom (UK) comprises England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (NI), with the term Great Britain (GB) used to refer to England, Wales and Scotland. The UK is a parliamentary democracy, based around the core principle of parliamentary sovereignty. It has neither a written constitution nor an entrenched constitutional bill of rights, but an extensive set of constitutional conventions establish what has been described as an unwritten constitution. The English, Welsh, Scots and Irish have historically been regarded as the four major ethnic groups in the UK but the UK has always been a country of migration and the increase in the size and variety of different ethnic groups since the late 1940s, added to the constant influx of migrant labour from EU and non-EU states, has made the UK a multicultural state. Certain ethnic minorities, including the native Traveller communities, continue to suffer from high rates of unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. Media campaigns against asylum-seekers and Travellers/Gypsies, including Roma, have contributed to greater hostility towards these particular groups. Following the Referendum result in June 2016 in which the UK voted to leave the EU, an increase in hostility towards EU migrants has been reported. The number of race hate crimes recorded by the police has increased and there has also been an increase in recorded hate crimes motivated by religion. The uneven protection afforded to race and religion and other protected characteristics with respect to hate speech and hate crime is under review by the Law Commission and the Scottish Parliament. Some prejudice also exists against gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people. In recent years, however, there has been much wider social acceptance of the rights of gay men and women to full equality across the political and media spectrum. In 2013 the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 placed same-sex couples on an equal footing with heterosexual couples. Similar legislation was passed in Scotland in 2014 but the NI Executive has not introduced, and does not intend to introduce, such legislation

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