Doomsday & Evacuation to New Britain (1983-1986)
The southern parts of the UK were hit badly on Doomsday with missiles hitting Brighton, Southampton and Portsmouth, Several thousand refugees tried to make there way to the Isle of Wight believing it to be a safe haven, However many died as they failed to find seaworthy boats and tried to swim. The Isle of Wight retained some form of order in the days following Doomsday especially after the arrival of the Royal Family. The Royal Navy assisted in carrying some refugees to the Isle and it became home to the British Provincial Administration which was headed by the then deputy prime minister William Whitelaw.
In the next three years the Isle was a base for Royal Navy ships searching for a suitable new home for the British people and when they eventually secured an area of South Africa it was the base for the evacuation of the country. Around 60% of the Islands population left with the RN and the cargo ships but the MP for nearby Worthing, Terence Higgins, chose to stay behind alongside some British Army forces declaring that he felt his place was with the people of the Island that he had so long served. At the end of 1986 the population of the Island was just under 40,000.
Evacuation of the coast and contact with Hastings (1986-1990)
The infrastructure of the Island remained intact after the Royal Family and Navy left and the Island had large food supply's (Due to land reforms by the BPA and the Islands fishing fleet). Terence Higgins asked the Islands council to give him control of the Isles resources and land so that they could survive and help what was left of the British Isles. Utilizing the islands fishing fleet the entire south coast of the UK was scouted and scouting parties landed at Brighton, Worthing and Bognor Regis. The Islands council authorized the evacuation of 100,000 people from West Sussex and Brighton and allow them to repopulate the Island but despite their best efforts the fishermen were unable to evacuate the whole of Brighton leaving behind 50,000 people and were also unable to evacuate the town of Worthing as their scouts were shot on arrival.
However the Islands council did promise the few people from Worthing that made it to the Island that they would eventually liberate there town. However that didn't end the councils plans to help the people of England in the coastal regions and the council authorized expeditions into East Sussex. One of these expeditions encountered a fishing vessel from the Interim Nation of Hastings, who revealed that the seaside town of Hastings now existed as a nation with a population of over 30,000. Terence Higgins decided to meet with the leader of Hastings, Kenneth Warren, to discuss a possible merger of the two nations. These discussions finished in 1990 when the two men signed a treaty that unified the two nations as a confederation.
Contact with the Celtic Alliance (1990-1992)
The Channel Islands had been under the control of the Celtic Alliance since the end of the BPA but the Alliance had come to an agreement with Terence Higgins that they would not impede the Islands sovereignty. However the Alliance had recently rediscovered the details of the Blue Streak ICBM and the Black Arrow Carrier Rocket and was interested in co-operating with the creators of the rockets Westland and more importantly gain control of the launch pad, The council agreed that the Alliance would be allowed to operate the rocket launch pad and rocket testing facility on the needles. In exchange for this though the Alliance had to assist the Confederation in removing the suspected dictatorship in Worthing.
In 1991 the Alliance moved scientists into the test facility's with the long term goal of restarting the Black Arrow space program and moved troops onto the island in preparation for an assault on Worthing. In early 1992 the Alliance marine forces launched an attack with the help of the Islands small navy, Worthing's small army complement was taken completely by surprise and by the end of the day the town was under the control of the Confederation. Worthing was slowly integrated into the Confederation's infrastructure over the next eight months and on Christmas 1992 the Confederation was officially dissolved and replaced by the Federal Republic of the Isle of Wight and Sussex.
With the help of the Celtic Alliance the Republic slowly began to rebuild the damaged areas of land that it controlled. It helped the Alliance set up one of its MSP's in Brighton on the condition that the city would eventually become Republic territory once the radiation levels had dropped and began to trade with both the Celtic Alliance and one or two of the French survivor states. It also re-established the Confederation's army which had been disbanded after the occupation of Worthing as it had been foolishly believed that the Alliance would protect them.
The Republic set up schools and hospitals across the south coast to help restore order and created so-called immigration highways, ports that allowed anyone who arrived at them access to the Republic and the services it provided. These highways were highly controversial however and in 1996 the scheme was canceled. However they had done there job as the population of the Republic now stood at 200,000 people. Slowly the Republic began to lose its dependency of the Alliance, especially after the purchase of an Airship from the New Zeppelin company in 1999.
A New Millennium (2000-2005)
The new Millennium was marked by the first successful launch of the Blue Streak rocket, Instead of a normal payload it had contained several hundred fireworks which went off over the Irish Sea as a celebration. The first half of the decade marked the continued independence of the Republic from the Alliance as well as resumed contact with the King in New Britain. However sentiment in the towards the monarchy was not good at the time with many people thinking that they had abandoned the Island, to this day the Republic refuses to acknowledge the king as ruler of the Republic and they await a true heir to the British royal family.
A New Politics (2005-2010)
On May the 2nd 2005 the first election in over two decades was held in the Republic with candidates from the Conservative Party, The Liberal Party and The Labour Party standing in a variety of seats. Incumbent Terence Higgins remained Prime Minister but the Liberal party gained several seats. The Labour Party gained only 10 seats in the council leading to its collapse and reformation as the SDP.
Since 2005 the nation has remained relatively obscure with its most relevant contribution to the world being its position as home to the Alliances space program. In the 2010 election Terence Higgins was voted out of power and the Liberals became the largest party.In line with their election promises they began the process of integrating the republic into the OBN and have continued the expansionist plans of Higgins's government. This was first implemented in August when the Republic invaded parts of Sussex.
Plans for the Republics expansion into the rest of Sussex had been around since its original days as the Confederation of the Isle of Wight and Hastings. However the idea had only become practical in the 21st century and it wasn't until 2008 that plans were finally drawn up for the invasion and occupation of Sussex. The major problem for these plans was of course the radiation in Brighton, so in a way typical of the Islands council the plans simply ignored Brighton and surrounding districts. However the nation's military still wasn't up to scratch for the invasion so the operation was delayed until after the 2010 elections. With them resulting in a Liberal victory many believed the operation would be canceled but the go ahead was given and the RN, RAF and Federal Army began combat operations on the 7th of August 2010 with the stated goal of gaining control of the county districts of; Rother, Wealden, Eastbourne and Chichester. Priority was to be given to Rother and Chichester first while the other districts had a lower priority and were only to be occupied should little resistance be met during combat operations. The operation ended on the tenth of August when the dictator in control of most of East Sussex surrendered to Federal Army troops and promised to support the Republic.
With most of Sussex secured in August 2010 discussions began with the neighboring state of Essex to discus their joint invasion of Kent. The republic wanted control of the strategic port of Folkestone to improve its naval capacities as well as to gain control of the Nuclear reactors at Dungerness to allow it to improve the areas on the mainland. Essex wanted farming land for itself and was willing to concede those strategic points to the republic.
Since 2005 the country has been a multi-party democracy in which MP's are elected from various parties and the largest party gains control of the Parliament. Before 2005 it was a de facto dictatorship although it always claimed to simply be a continuation of the Isle of Wight county council. Terence Higgins has remained popular throughout his career but his party have become unpopular due to their massive pro Alliance sentiment whereas the Liberals are in favour of becoming more independent and possibly joining the OBN. In the 2010 elections Higgins was finally removed from power and he was replaced by liberal Peter Brand
For the first two years after its establishment in 1990 the Republic used the UK's bill of rights and various other articles of British law as a basis for its government but aware of the problems associated with that type of framework the government called together various academics to write out the constitution of the Federal Republic. Modeled on the USA's constitution it laid out the set up for the government and finalized the Republics position on the monarchy.
Southern England has a small but efficient armed forces division that exists to protect the Island and its territories. The military is made up of the British army forces who chose to remain on the island as well as converted aircraft and ships.
The army is the largest of the three divisions of the armed forces as it consists of the majority of the 8,000 men who chose to remain on the island, it is equipped with pre-Doomsday British army equipment as well as some equipment recovered from Sussex.
The navy consists of modified fishing boats, a few ex RN patrol boats and three converted SR.N6 hovercraft which operate alongside the flagship RNV Isle of Wight (A converted SR.N4 class hovercraft that had been due to be scraped in 1983). In addition to this the navy has recently launched (But not commissioned) a WW2 Grom class destroyer to be its new flagship.
The air-force operates two Zeppelin bombers alongside several Islanders and Trislanders converted for military use as well as a squadron of spitfires built to WW2 specifications by Airframes Assemblies and Britten-Norman. The metal for these aircraft and ships has predominantly come from two IOW ferries that had reached the end of their lives, these aircraft and ships are powered by both pre-Doomsday fuel stored on the island and more recently bio-fuels from farms and gained from trade.
Association Football remains the most popular sport in the Republic with teams from all three of the Republics states competing in a football league on the Island. The country aims to be a member of FIFA at the end of 2010 and wants to take part in the 2014 world cup and it is also one of the largest supporters of a unified British football league. The other large sport in the county is Rugby Union and the country will take part in qualifications for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. The Republic also has a strong fencing team and it is hoped that young fencer Luke Deamer may even win a medal at the Europa Games. On an individual level cycling is also very popular.
The Isle of Wight Steam railway and British Rail lines on the Mainland were merged into one company, officially known as Federal Railways (FR) and are mainly operated by steam locomotives from the Isle of Wight Steam railway, it has recently began operations on the OBN's East Coast Mainline using class 25 diesel locomotives, 2 Maunsel U class locomotives, 2 West Country/Battle of Britain pacifics and a 9F 2-10-0. These trains are operated in co-operation with several Isle of Wight ferries operated by SR.N6 hovercraft and Ro-Ro ferries and the trains are transported to the mainland by specially modified ferries. There is also one public airport (Bembridge, Isle of Wight); it has a concrete runway and factory for Britten-Norman
Recently the Federal Railways have begun production of modified West Country pacifics for use on the main lines on the mainland and the East Coast Mainline up to Bourne.
The Federal Republics economy is dependent on trade with the Celtic Alliance and other British survivor states. While it is capable of providing enough food for the Isle of Wight and Hastings it has barely any factories, lacks raw materials and while it can repair its equipment, railways and boats it is incapable of finding the parts instead having to purchase them from the Celtic Alliance. There are several fields on both the mainland and the Island that are devoted to bio-fuel production but the majority of land is devoted to food production.
Unsurprisingly Protestant Christianity is the most prominent religion in the country but as Roman Catholicism is one of the few remaining organized religions left in the world it is beginning to gain prominence. Atheism is also popular in the country as Doomsday caused many people in the region to lose faith. Islam and Judaism remain popular and there is also a fringe religion called the Cult of Doomsday which views Doomsday as a chance for humanity to rebuild itself. Currently the percentage of the population which follows each religion is shown below:
- Atheism 44%
- Protestant Christianity 20%
- Roman Catholic 16%
- Judaism 9%
- Islam 9%
- Cult of Doomsday .5%
- Other 1.5%
The local BBC broadcasting station for the Island remained intact after Doomsday and is used by the state-backed RBC (Republic Broadcasting Corporation) to broadcast news and some sporting events. The RBC operates the Republic's only TV station (Limited to broadcasting on the Isle of Wight itself, which was reintroduced in 2003) but radio stations operate on the Island and its mainland territories. The following radio stations and TV stations are broadcast on the Island and its mainland territories:
- RBC 1 (TV Station) broadcasts news and sporting events.
- RBC 1 (Radio) broadcasts the same things as its TV cousin but is broadcast in all three republic territories.
- RBC 2 broadcasts music and some radio sitcoms.
- RBC Sussex is broadcast from short range transmitters on the mainland and focuses on local news.
The Education system in Southern England is one of the largest and best in the south of former England, its education system is envied by most survival states and is one of the main reasons why it is such a popular destination for immigration. Its health system is also well built having retained most of the pre-Doomsday NHS hospitals as well as forcing private hospitals to take some non paying patients. However the Education and Health systems are only open to natural born citizens and those who arrived through the immigration highways and for other immigrants there is a transition period (5-10 years).
The Republic has good relations with the Celtic Alliance and other British survivor states. It is not a member of any of the major political pacts. Since 2008 the Republic has been in discussions with the OBN with rebuilding the East Coast Mainline which could link Hastings in the south through to East Britain in the north. In September 2010 it became a member of the OBN. Recently it has begun talks with the Republic of Essex regarding their division of Kent.