The United Kingdom is a nation state comprising of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and some of the islands of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. It is bordered to the north by Ireland, to the west by France and Spain, to the south by the Channel Islands, to the east by Scotland and to the south-east by the sea. Since its reunification in 1707, the United Kingdom has gone through a number of changes with the addition of the countries of Anglesey, Argyll, Bute and March, and then the admission of the Channel Islands and Isle of Man in 1973. The United Kingdom is governed by a tripartite government system consisting of a parliamentary democracy, a legal system of common law and a representative democracy system that uses referendums to test popular opinion and pass legislation by a simple majority. There are three parliamentary chambers: the House of Commons, the House of Lords and a Scottish Parliament. In principle, the UK government is a federation and consists of three devolved administrations: the governments of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland. In practice, the devolved administrations retain considerable autonomy with limited power to legislate for Scotland and Wales. An Executive Council with limited executive power is responsible for Northern Ireland. A financial administration is in charge of the UK’s central government and the Armed Forces. A monarch – Queen Elizabeth II – has the title of Supreme Governor of the Church of England and bears the rank of Supreme Governor of the Armed Forces. The United Kingdom is a member of NATO, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Nations and the G7.
With 6.9 million people, Scotland is home to the United Kingdom’s capital, Edinburgh, renowned for its wild landscape, medieval architecture and trendy culture. Its most famous son is Sir David Attenborough.
Wales, home to Millennium Park, world-famous Welsh Hills and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a quarter of a million people. It is the birthplace of modern Welsh language.
And Northern Ireland is home to the 12th-century City of Belfast, built from stone quarried on its steeply hilly, four-mile River Lagan shore. It is home to the U.S. military presence.
Pounding is probably the second most popular sport in England, just behind football, as well as a good chunk of people in Scotland and Wales.
They even named the team United Kingdom in 1996, which marked a 25-year anniversary of England winning the World Cup.
The United Kingdom is moving rapidly towards the use of clean energy. The English Weather Company predicts that England’s carbon emissions will halve over the next 15 years, thanks to the growth of wind and solar power, and a drop in carbon output from combustion engines. The UK has a policy to shut down coal plants by 2025, and is now starting to phase out conventional fuel. So, whilst many of us might associate Scotland with good weather and epic scenery, that’s not the case for much longer, and those of us living on the west coast will have to share its climate, albeit not for much longer.
United Kingdom is home to a number of large metalworking companies, including ThyssenKrupp (Westwood), Caparo Industries (Derby), Mabey (Crewe), W. G. Barton (South Wales), Fast-Tec Engineering (South Shields), and numerous smaller companies.
The United Kingdom has also been a major center for the production of a wide range of steel, with the British Steel Corporation being the world’s largest steel producer.
There are around two dozen wire mills around the British Isles, producing (depending on the particular technique) pure tin, nickel, cobalt and copper, as well as a number of grades of iron and steel.
Outside Britain, there are large manufacturing operations in Brazil (e.g., São Carlos), Argentina, Canada (e.g., Hamilton, Ontario, Oshawa), Poland (e.g., Bydgoszcz, Poznań) and United States (e.g., Flint).
Date of last update: 23. May, 2021