The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland

The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244 000 square kilometers. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast respectively. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales and does not include Northern Ireland. But in everyday speech Great Britain is used to mean the United Kingdom. The capital of UK is London.

London is political, economic, culture and commercial center of the country. It’s one of the largest cities in the world and the largest one in Europe. The population of the city is over 8 million. London is also one of the oldest and most interesting cities in the world. The British isles are separated from the European continent by the North Sea and the English channel. The western

coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. The surface of the British Isles is varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called Highlands, while the south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called Lowlands. The north and west of England are mountainous, but all the rest – east, center and southeast – is a vast plain. Mountains are not very high.

There are a lot of rivers in GB, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest and most important one. The UK is one of the world’s smaller countries. The population of the country is over 57 million and about 80% of it is urban. The UK is highly developed industrial country. It’s known as one of world’s largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. The UK is constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of State is the Queen, but in practice, the Queen reigns, does not rule. The country is ruled by the elected government with the Primer Minister at the head. The British Parliament consists of two chambers : the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Now the Primer Minister of the United Kingdom is Tony Blair.

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The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland