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|United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
|Motto: Dieu Et Mon Droit
“God and my Right”
|Anthem: "God Save the Queen"
(and largest city)
|Official languages||English (de facto)
Welsh, Irish, Scotch Gaelic
|Ethnic groups (2001
See: UK ethnic groups list)
|92.1% White (mainly of British Isles descent, with minorities of other descent)
4.0% South Asian
|Demonym||British or Briton|
|Government||Parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy|
|-||Monarch||Queen Elizabeth III|
|-||Prime Minister||Elizabeth Brown MP|
|-||Upper House||House of Lords|
|-||Lower House||House of Commons|
|-||Acts of Union 1707||1 May 1707|
|-||Act of Union 1800||1 January 1801|
|-||Anglo-Irish Treaty||12 April 1922|
|-||Total|| 350,511.80 km2 (71st)
135,333.363 sq mi
|Currency||Pound sterling (
|Time zone||GMT (UTC+0)|
|-||Summer (DST)||GMT (UTC+1)|
|Drives on the||left|
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It is an island country, spanning an archipelago including Great Britain, Ireland, Gibraltar, and many small islands. Gibraltar is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Spain and Morocco. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel.
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in London, the capital, but with four devolved national administrations in London, Dublin, Cardiff and Edinburgh, the capitals of England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland respectively. The Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man are Crown Dependencies which means they are constitutionally tied to the Monarch (King or Queen) but are not constitutionally part of the UK, though they are treated as part of it for many purposes including nationality. The UK has fourteen overseas territories, all remnants of the British Empire, which at its height in 1922 encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land surface, the largest empire in history. After World War II, the British Empire was restructured into a federation called the British Imperial Commonwealth to give the colonies greater autonomy. British influence can continue to be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of the members of the Commonwealth.
The UK is a developed country, with the world's sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and the seventh largest by purchasing power parity. It was the world's first industrialized country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the economic cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs. The UK nevertheless remains a major power with strong economic, cultural, military, scientific, and political influence. It is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the third highest defense spending in the world. It is a Member State of the European Union, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, and the World Trade Organization.