United Kingdom

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United Kingdom
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{{About-distinguish2|the country|Great Britain, its largest island whose name is also loosely applied to the whole country}}{{Redirect|UK|other uses of "UK"|UK (disambiguation)|other uses of "United Kingdom"|United Kingdom (disambiguation)}}{{pp-semi-indef}}{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Country in Europe}}{{Use British English|date=April 2012}}{{Use dmy dates|date=February 2019}}

{{#tag:ref [click to view image)].|group=note}}God Save the Queen"{{#tag:ref >There is no authorised version of the national anthem as the words are a matter of tradition; only the first verse is usually sung.NATIONAL ANTHEM >URL=HTTPS://WWW.ROYAL.UK/NATIONAL-ANTHEM ACCESSDATE=4 JUNE 2016Honors music>Royal anthem for certain Commonwealth realms. The words Queen, she, her, used at present (in the reign of Elizabeth II), are replaced by King, he, him when the monarch is male. |group=note}}(File:United States Navy Band - God Save the Queen.ogg)(File:EU-United Kingdom (orthographic projection).svgShow globeupright=1.15Show map of Europe|default=1}}| alt_map = Two islands to the north-west of continental Europe. Highlighted are the larger island and the north-eastern fifth of the smaller island to the west.countryprefix=the region=Europe subregion=the European Union |subregion_color=green}}| image_map2 = {{collapsible list
| titlestyle = background:transparent;text-align:center;line-height:normal;font-weight:normal;
| title = Location of the United Kingdom, Crown dependencies and British Overseas Territories (red)
| liststyle = text-align:center;
| (File:United Kingdom (+overseas territories and crown dependencies) in the World (+Antarctica claims).svg|frameless|upright=1.15)
}}| capital = London
51N7type:city}}| largest_city = capitaland national language}}English language>EnglishUnder the Council of Europe's European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Scots, Ulster Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic and Irish are officially recognised as Regional language or Minority language>minority languages by the Government of the United Kingdom for the purposes of the Charter.HTTP://CONVENTIONS.COE.INT/TREATY/COMMUN/LISTEDECLARATIONS.ASP?CL=ENG&NT=148&VL=1 PUBLISHER=COUNCIL OF EUROPE WEBSITE=WWW.GOV.UKWORK=GOV.UKWORK=GOV.UKLanguages of the United Kingdom. >group=note}}| languages2 = {hide}hlist item_style=white-space:nowrap;
| 87.1% White"This category could include Polish responses from the country specific question for Scotland which would have been outputted to ‘Other White’ and then included under ‘White’ for UK ... ‘White Africans’ may also have been recorded under ‘Other White’ and then included under ‘White’ for UK."
| 7.0% Asian
| 3.0% Black
| 2.0% Mixed
| 0.9% others
United Kingdom Census 2011>2011item_style=white-space:nowrap;
| {{#expr:(37583962/63182178)*100 round 1{edih}% Christian
| {{#expr:(16221509/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Irreligious
| {{#expr:( 2786635/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Muslim
| {{#expr:( 835418/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Hindu
| {{#expr:( 432429/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Sikh
| {{#expr:( 269568/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Jewish
| {{#expr:( 261584/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Buddhist
| {{#expr:( 262750/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Other
| {{#expr:( 4528323/63182178)*100 round 1}}% Unknown
United Kingdom Census 2011>2011HTTP://DATA.UN.ORG/DATA.ASPX?D=POP&F=TABLECODE:28;COUNTRYCODE:826&C=2,3,6,8,10,12,14,15,16&S=_COUNTRYENGLISHNAMEORDERBY:ASC,REFYEAR:DESC,AREACODE:ASC&V=1>TITLE=UNDATA {{!, record view {{!}} Population by religion, sex and urban/rural residenceaccessdate=13 October 2018}}PHILBY >FIRST=CHARLOTTE URL=HTTPS://WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK/NEWS/UK/HOME-NEWS/LESS-RELIGIOUS-AND-MORE-ETHNICALLY-DIVERSE-CENSUS-REVEALS-A-PICTURE-OF-BRITAIN-TODAY-8406506.HTML DATE=12 DECEMBER 2012, London, British people>Briton}} Unitary state>Unitary parliamentaryconstitutional monarchyMonarchy of the United Kingdom>Monarch| leader_name1 = Elizabeth IIPrime Minister of the United Kingdom>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Boris JohnsonParliament of the United Kingdom>Parliament| upper_house = House of LordsHouse of Commons of the United Kingdom>House of CommonsHistory of the formation of the United Kingdom>Formation| established_event1 = Laws in Wales Acts| established_date1 = 1535 and 1542| established_event2 = Union of the Crowns under James VI and I| established_date2 = 24 March 1603| established_event3 = Acts of Union of England and Scotland| established_date3 = 1 May 1707| established_event4 = Acts of Union of Great Britain and Ireland| established_date4 = 1 January 1801| established_event5 = Irish Free State Constitution Act| established_date5 = 5 December 1922Accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities>EC accession{{shy}}{{refnEuropean Union since 1993.}}| established_date6 = 1 January 1973| area_km2 = 242495PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS STATISTICS DIVISION ACCESSDATE=9 AUGUST 2015, | area_rank = 78th| area_sq_mi = 93628| percent_water = 1.34| population_estimate = {{increase}} 67,545,757PUBLISHER=OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS, 17 December 2012, | population_estimate_year = 2019| population_estimate_rank = 22nd| population_census_year = 2011| population_census_rank = 22nd| population_density_km2 = 270.7| population_density_sq_mi = 701.2| population_density_rank = 50thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=30 OCTOBER 2019, | GDP_PPP_year = 2019| GDP_PPP_rank = 9th| GDP_PPP_per_capita = {{increase}} $46,827| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 26th| GDP_nominal = {{decrease}} $2.744 trillion| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_rank = 6th| GDP_nominal_per_capita = {{decrease}} $41,030| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 20th| Gini = 33.1| Gini_year = 2017| Gini_change = increasePUBLISHER=EUROSTAT ACCESS-DATE=7 MARCH 2019, | Gini_rank = 33rd| HDI = 0.922| HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increaseYEAR=2018 PUBLISHER=UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, | HDI_rank = 14th| currency = Pound sterlingSome of the devolved countries, Crown dependencies and British Overseas Territories issue their own sterling banknotes or currencies, or use another nation's currency. See List of British currencies for more information| currency_code = GBPGreenwich Mean Time, Western European Time>WETThis excludes some of the UK's dependencies. See Time in the United Kingdom#British territories| utc_offset = ⁠| utc_offset_DST = +1British Summer Time, Western European Summer Time>WESTddmmyyyyyyyymmddAnno Domini>AD)See Date and time notation in the United Kingdom.| electricity = 230 V–50 HzLeft- and right-hand traffic>leftExcept two overseas territories, Gibraltar, the British Indian Ocean Territory and Savoy Court in London.Telephone numbers in the United Kingdom>+44Excludes most overseas territories.ukThe .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states. | today = }}The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK or U.K.)WEB, Toponymic guidelines for the United Kingdom,weblink GOV.UK, United Kingdom Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, 13, May 2017, usually shortened to United Kingdom ... The abbreviation is UK, or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian and Telegraph use Britain as synonym for United Kingdom. Some organisations, including the British Government, prefer to use Britain as shorthand for Great Britain is a sovereign country located off the north{{shy}}western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north{{shy}}eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands.WEB, Definition of Great Britain in English,weblink Oxford University Press, 29 October 2014, Great Britain is the name for the island that comprises England, Scotland and Wales, although the term is also used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom., Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's {{convert|242500|km2|sqmi}} were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.The British Monarchy, What is constitutional monarchy?. Retrieved 17 July 2013CIA, The World Factbook. Retrieved 17 July 2013 The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the world's longest-serving current head of state.NEWS,weblink Queen takes over longest reign mantle after Thailand's King Bhumibol dies, PA, 13 October 2016, 13 October 2016, AOL (UK), The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million.The 30 Largest Urban Agglomerations Ranked by Population Size at Each Point in Time, 1950–2030, World Urbanization Prospects, the 2014 revision {{Webarchive|url= |date=18 February 2015}}, Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Retrieved 22 February 2015. Other major cities include Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool.The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.WEB,weblink Countries within a country, 10 January 2003, Prime Minister's Office,weblink 9 September 2008, dead, 8 March 2015, Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments,WEB,weblink Devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Government, 17 April 2013, In a similar way to how the government is formed from members from the two Houses of Parliament, members of the devolved legislatures nominate ministers from among themselves to comprise executives, known as the devolved administrations..., each with varying powers,NEWS,weblink Fall in UK university students, 29 January 2009, BBC News, WEB,weblink Country Overviews: United Kingdom, Transport Research Knowledge Centre,weblink" title="">weblink 4 April 2010, dead, 28 March 2010, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.WEB,weblink 15 October 2012, Key facts about the United Kingdom,weblink 6 March 2015, Directgov, The full title of this country is 'the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom (UK) is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 'Britain' is used informally, usually meaning the United Kingdom. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK., dead, The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed on 6 December 1921 to resolve the Irish War of Independence. When it took effect one year later, it established the Irish Free State as a separate dominion within the Commonwealth. The UK's current name was adopted to reflect the change. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories,WEB,weblink Supporting the Overseas Territories, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 9 March 2015, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies.Hogg, p. 424 chapter 9 English Worldwide by David Crystal: "approximately one in four of the worlds population are capable of communicating to a useful level in English".WEB,weblink Explaining the 'Anglosphere', Glenn, Reynolds, 28 October 2004, the Guardian, WEB,weblink Head of the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Secretariat, 9 October 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 6 July 2010, BOOK, Arjomand, Saïd Amir, Constitutionalism and political reconstruction, 2007, Brill, 978-90-04-15174-1, 92–94,weblink Julian Go, A Globalizing Constitutionalism?, Views from the Postcolony, 1945-2000, {{sfn|Ferguson|2004|p=307}}The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries.BOOK, The First Industrial Nation: the Economic History of Britain, 1700–1914, Routledge, London, Mathias, P., 2001, 978-0-415-26672-7, BOOK, Ferguson, Niall, 2004, Empire: The rise and demise of the British world order and the lessons for global power, Basic Books, New York, 978-0-465-02328-8, harv, The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally.BOOK, T.V. Paul, James J. Wirtz, Michel Fortmann, Balance of Power, State University of New York Press, 2005, 59, 282, 978-0-7914-6401-4,weblink"Great+power", Accordingly, the great powers after the Cold War are Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States p. 59BOOK, McCourt, David, Britain and World Power Since 1945: Constructing a Nation's Role in International Politics, University of Michigan Press, 2014, United States, 978-0-472-07221-7,weblink It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world.WEB,weblink IISS Military Balance 2017, 6 March 2018, It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973. A referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of the turnout being in favour of leaving the EU, which is currently scheduled to take place on or before 31 January 2020. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Etymology and terminology

{{anchor|Etymology}}{{See also|Britain (place name)|Terminology of the British Isles}}The 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain".WEB,weblink Treaty of Union, 1706, Scots History Online, 23 August 2011, BOOK,weblink Constitutional & Administrative Law, 165, Barnett, Hilaire, Jago, Robert, 8th, 2011, 978-0-415-56301-7, Routledge, Abingdon, Compare to section 1 of both of the 1800 Acts of Union which reads: the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland united into one Kingdom, by the Name of "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" The term "United Kingdom" has occasionally been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was simply "Great Britain".See s:Act of Union 1707#Article 1 (name of the new kingdom)|Article One]] of the Act of Union 1707."After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", The American Pageant, Volume 1, Cengage Learning (2012)"From 1707 until 1801 Great Britain was the official designation of the kingdoms of England and Scotland". The Standard Reference Work: For the Home, School and Library, Volume 3, Harold Melvin Stanford (1921)"In 1707, on the union with Scotland, 'Great Britain' became the official name of the British Kingdom, and so continued until the union with Ireland in 1801". United States Congressional serial set, Issue 10; Issue 3265 (1895)WEB,weblink History of Great Britain (from 1707), Bamber Gascoigne, Gascoigne, Bamber, History World, 18 July 2011, The Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".BOOK, The Irish Civil War 1922–23, Cottrell, P., 2008, 85, 978-1-84603-270-7, Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also widely referred to as countries.{{citation |author1=S. Dunn |author2=H. Dawson |year=2000 |title=An Alphabetical Listing of Word, Name and Place in Northern Ireland and the Living Language of Conflict |publisher=Edwin Mellen Press |location=Lampeter |quote=One specific problem – in both general and particular senses – is to know what to call Northern Ireland itself: in the general sense, it is not a country, or a province, or a state – although some refer to it contemptuously as a statelet: the least controversial word appears to be jurisdiction, but this might change.}}WEB,weblink Changes in the list of subdivision names and code elements, ISO 3166-2, International Organization for Standardization, 15 December 2011, 28 May 2012, The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. Some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as "regions".WEB,weblink Statistical bulletin: Regional Labour Market Statistics, 5 March 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 December 2014, WEB,weblink 13.4% Fall In Earnings Value During Recession, 5 March 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 3 January 2014, dead, Northern Ireland is also referred to as a "province".BOOK, Dunn, Seamus, Dawson, Helen., An Alphabetical Listing of Word, Name and Place in Northern Ireland and the Living Language of Conflict, 2000, Edwin Mellen Press, Lampeter, 978-0-7734-7711-7, BOOK, Murphy, Dervla, A Place Apart, 1979, Penguin, London, 978-0-14-005030-1, With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice often revealing one's political preferences".BOOK, Whyte, John, John Henry Whyte, FitzGerald, Garret, Garret FitzGerald, 1991, Interpreting Northern Ireland, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 978-0-19-827380-6, The term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England, Scotland and Wales in combination.NEWS,weblink Guardian Unlimited Style Guide, Guardian News and Media Limited, 23 August 2011, London, 19 December 2008, NEWS,weblink BBC style guide (Great Britain), 23 August 2011, BBC News, 19 August 2002, WEB,weblink Key facts about the United Kingdom,weblink 15 October 2012, 8 March 2015, Government, citizens and rights, HM Government, It is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole.New Oxford American Dictionary: "Great Britain: England, Wales, and Scotland considered as a unit. The name is also often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom."The term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain,WEB, Britain Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary,weblink, WEB, Definition of Britain in English by Oxford Dictionaries,weblink Oxford Dictionaries – English, WEB, Britain definition and meaning,weblink, Collins English Dictionary, and as a synonym for the United Kingdom.WEB, Britain – Definition for English-Language Learners,weblink, Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary, Usage is mixed: the UK Government prefers to use the term "UK" rather than "Britain" or "British" on its own website (except when referring to embassies),WEB, A to Z – Style guide,weblink, UK Government, while acknowledging that both terms refer to the United Kingdom and that elsewhere '"British government" is used at least as frequently as "United Kingdom government".WEB, Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, Toponymic guidelines for the United Kingdom,weblink, UK Government, The UK Permanent Committee on Geographical Names recognizes "United Kingdom" and "UK or U.K." as shortened and abbreviated geopolitical terms for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in its toponymic guidelines; it does not list "Britain" but notes 'it is only the one specific nominal term "Great Britain" which invariably excludes Northern Ireland.'WEB, Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, Toponymic guidelines for the United Kingdom,weblink, UK Government, The BBC historically preferred to use "Britain" as shorthand only for Great Britain, though the present style guide does not take a position except that "Great Britain" excludes Northern Ireland.WEB, BBC News style guide - Names,weblink BBC Academy, BBC, 9 November 2019, WEB, Alphabetical checklist,weblink BBC News, BBC, 17 June 2018,weblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2018, dead, The adjective "British" is commonly used to refer to matters relating to the United Kingdom. The term has no definite legal connotation, but is used in law to refer to United Kingdom citizenship and matters to do with nationality.BOOK,weblink Constitutional and administrative law, 1, 36, Bradley, Anthony Wilfred, Ewing, Keith D., 14th, Pearson Longman, Harlow, 2007, 978-1-4058-1207-8, People of the United Kingdom use a number of different terms to describe their national identity and may identify themselves as being British, English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish, or Irish;WEB,weblink Which of these best describes the way you think of yourself?, 2010, Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey 2010, ARK â€“ Access Research Knowledge, 1 July 2010, or as having a combination of different national identities.BOOK,weblink Regionalism after regionalisation: Spain, France and the United Kingdom, 275–277, Schrijver, Frans, Amsterdam University Press, 2006, 978-90-5629-428-1, The official designation for a citizen of the United Kingdom is "British citizen".WEB, Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, Toponymic guidelines for the United Kingdom,weblink, UK Government,


{{See also|History of the British Isles}}


File:Stonehenge, Condado de Wiltshire, Inglaterra, 2014-08-12, DD 18.JPG|thumb|The stones of Stonehenge, in WiltshireWiltshireSettlement by anatomically modern humans of what was to become the United Kingdom occurred in waves beginning by about 30,000 years ago."Ancient skeleton was 'even older'". BBC News. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2011. By the end of the region's prehistoric period, the population is thought to have belonged, in the main, to a culture termed Insular Celtic, comprising Brittonic Britain and Gaelic Ireland.BOOK, Celtic culture: A historical encyclopedia, 973, Koch, John T., 978-1-85109-440-0, 2006, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, The Roman conquest, beginning in 43 AD, and the 400-year rule of southern Britain, was followed by an invasion by Germanic Anglo-Saxon settlers, reducing the Brittonic area mainly to what was to become Wales, Cornwall and, until the latter stages of the Anglo-Saxon settlement, the Hen Ogledd (northern England and parts of southern Scotland).ENCYCLOPEDIA, John, Davies, John Davies (historian), Nigel, Jenkins, Nigel Jenkins, Menna, Baines, Peredur I., Lynch, Peredur Lynch, Encyclopaedia of Wales, The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales, 2008, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 978-0-7083-1953-6, 915, The Welsh Academy encyclopaedia of Wales, Most of the region settled by the Anglo-Saxons became unified as the Kingdom of England in the 10th century.WEB,weblink Short Athelstan biography, BBC History, 9 April 2013, Meanwhile, Gaelic-speakers in north-west Britain (with connections to the north-east of Ireland and traditionally supposed to have migrated from there in the 5th century)BOOK, Mackie, J.D., J.D. Mackie, A History of Scotland, London, Penguin, 1991, 978-0-14-013649-4, 18–19,weblink BOOK, Campbell, Ewan, Saints and Sea-kings: The First Kingdom of the Scots, Canongate, Edinburgh, 1999, 978-0-86241-874-8, 8–15, united with the Picts to create the Kingdom of Scotland in the 9th century.BOOK, Haigh, Christopher, The Cambridge Historical Encyclopedia of Great Britain and Ireland, Cambridge University Press, 1990, 30, 978-0-521-39552-6, File:Bayeux Tapestry WillelmDux.jpg|thumb|left|The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the Battle of HastingsBattle of HastingsIn 1066, the Normans and their Breton allies invaded England from northern France and after its conquest, seized large parts of Wales, conquered much of Ireland and were invited to settle in Scotland, bringing to each country feudalism on the Northern French model and Norman-French culture.BOOK, Feudalism, Ganshof, F.L., 165, 978-0-8020-7158-3, University of Toronto, 1996, The Anglo-Norman ruling class greatly influenced, but eventually assimilated with, each of the local cultures.BOOK, The Debate on the Norman Conquest, 115–122, Chibnall, Marjorie, Marjorie Chibnall, 1999, Manchester University Press, 978-0-7190-4913-2, Subsequent medieval English kings completed the conquest of Wales and made an unsuccessful attempt to annex Scotland. Following the Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland maintained its independence, albeit in near-constant conflict with England. The English monarchs, through inheritance of substantial territories in France and claims to the French crown, were also heavily involved in conflicts in France, most notably the Hundred Years War, while the Kings of Scots were in an alliance with the French during this period.Keen, Maurice. "The Hundred Years' War". BBC History.Early modern Britain saw religious conflict resulting from the Reformation and the introduction of Protestant state churches in each country.The Reformation in England and Scotland and Ireland: The Reformation Period & Ireland under Elizabth I, Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Wales was fully incorporated into the Kingdom of England,WEB, British History in Depth â€“ Wales under the Tudors,weblink 21 September 2010, BBC History, 5 November 2009, and Ireland was constituted as a kingdom in personal union with the English crown.BOOK, A history of the modern British Isles, 1529–1603: The two kingdoms, 171–172, Mark, Nicholls, 1999, 978-0-631-19334-0, Blackwell, Oxford, In what was to become Northern Ireland, the lands of the independent Catholic Gaelic nobility were confiscated and given to Protestant settlers from England and Scotland.BOOK, Canny, Nicholas P., Making Ireland British, 1580–1650, 189–200, Oxford University Press, 2003, 978-0-19-925905-2, In 1603, the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland were united in a personal union when James VI, King of Scots, inherited the crowns of England and Ireland and moved his court from Edinburgh to London; each country nevertheless remained a separate political entity and retained its separate political, legal, and religious institutions.Ross, D. (2002). Chronology of Scottish History. Glasgow: Geddes & Grosset. p. 56. {{ISBN|1-85534-380-0}}Hearn, J. (2002). Claiming Scotland: National Identity and Liberal Culture. Edinburgh University Press. p. 104. {{ISBN|1-902930-16-9}}In the mid-17th century, all three kingdoms were involved in a series of connected wars (including the English Civil War) which led to the temporary overthrow of the monarchy, with the execution of King Charles I, and the establishment of the short-lived unitary republic of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink English Civil Wars, Encyclopædia Britannica, 28 April 2013, WEB,weblink Scotland and the Commonwealth: 1651–1660,, 14 March 2010, 9 March 2015, During the 17th and 18th centuries, British sailors were involved in acts of piracy (privateering), attacking and stealing from ships off the coast of Europe and the Caribbean.BOOK, McCarthy, Mathew, Privateering, Piracy and British Policy in Spanish America, 1810–1830, 2013, The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 978-1-84383-861-6, 1st, File:State House- 1620 - St Geo - Bermuda.jpg|thumb|The State House in St. George's, Bermuda. Settled in 1612, the town is the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World.]]Although the monarchy was restored, the Interregnum (along with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the subsequent Bill of Rights 1689, and the Claim of Right Act 1689) ensured that, unlike much of the rest of Europe, royal absolutism would not prevail, and a professed Catholic could never accede to the throne. The British constitution would develop on the basis of constitutional monarchy and the parliamentary system.BOOK, Lodge, Richard, 2007, 1910,weblink The History of England â€“ From the Restoration to the Death of William III (1660–1702), Read Books, 8, 978-1-4067-0897-4, With the founding of the Royal Society in 1660, science was greatly encouraged. During this period, particularly in England, the development of naval power (and the interest in voyages of discovery) led to the acquisition and settlement of overseas colonies, particularly in North America and the Caribbean.WEB,weblink Royal Navy History, Tudor Period and the Birth of a Regular Navy,weblink" title="">weblink 3 November 2011, 8 March 2015, Institute of Naval History, BOOK, Nicholas, Canny, The Origins of Empire, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume I, Oxford University Press, 1998, 978-0-19-924676-2,weblink refOHBEv1, Though previous attempts at uniting the two kingdoms within Great Britain in 1606, 1667, and 1689 had proved unsuccessful, the attempt initiated in 1705 led to the Treaty of Union of 1706 being agreed and ratified by both parliaments.{{clear left}}

Treaty of Union

File:Treaty of Union.jpg|thumb|The Treaty of UnionTreaty of UnionOn 1 May 1707, the united Kingdom of Great Britain came into being, the result of Acts of Union being passed by the parliaments of England and Scotland to ratify the 1706 Treaty of Union and so unite the two kingdoms.WEB,weblink Articles of Union with Scotland 1707, UK Parliament, 19 October 2008, WEB,weblink Acts of Union 1707, UK Parliament, 6 January 2011, WEB,weblink Treaty (act) of Union 1706, Scottish History online, 3 February 2011, In the 18th century, cabinet government developed under Robert Walpole, in practice the first prime minister (1721–1742). A series of Jacobite Uprisings sought to remove the Protestant House of Hanover from the British throne and restore the Catholic House of Stuart. The Jacobites were finally defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, after which the Scottish Highlanders were brutally suppressed. The British colonies in North America that broke away from Britain in the American War of Independence became the United States of America, recognised by Britain in 1783. British imperial ambition turned towards Asia, particularly to India.Library of Congress, The Impact of the American Revolution Abroad, p. 73.During the 18th century, Britain was involved in the Atlantic slave trade. British ships transported an estimated two million slaves from Africa to the West Indies. Parliament banned the trade in 1807, banned slavery in the British Empire in 1833, and Britain took a leading role in the movement to abolish slavery worldwide through the blockade of Africa and pressing other nations to end their trade with a series of treaties. The world's oldest international human rights organisation, Anti-Slavery International, was formed in London in 1839.weblink" title="">"Anti-Slavery International". UNESCO. Retrieved 15 October 2010Loosemore, Jo (2007). Sailing against slavery. BBC Devon. 2007.BOOK, Lovejoy, Paul E., Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa, 290, New York, 2nd, Cambridge University Press, 2000, 978-0-521-78012-4,

From the union with Ireland to the end of the First World War

File:Battle of Waterloo 1815.PNG|thumb|alt=Painting of a bloody battle. Horses and infantry fight or lie on grass.|The Battle of Waterloo, 1815, marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the start of Pax BritannicaPax BritannicaThe term "United Kingdom" became official in 1801 when the parliaments of Britain and Ireland each passed an Act of Union, uniting the two kingdoms and creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.WEB,weblink The Act of Union, Act of Union Virtual Library, 15 May 2006,weblink 27 May 2012, dead, In the early 19th century, the British-led Industrial Revolution began to transform the country. Gradually political power shifted away from the old Tory and Whig landowning classes towards the new industrialists. An alliance of merchants and industrialists with the Whigs would lead to a new party, the Liberals, with an ideology of free trade and laissez-faire. In 1832 Parliament passed the Great Reform Act, which began the transfer of political power from the aristocracy to the middle classes. In the countryside, enclosure of the land was driving small farmers out. Towns and cities began to swell with a new urban working class. Few ordinary workers had the vote, and they created their own organisations in the form of trade unions.{{citation needed|date=April 2016}}After the defeat of France at the end of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815), the United Kingdom emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century (with London the largest city in the world from about 1830).Tellier, L.-N. (2009). Urban World History: an Economic and Geographical Perspective. Quebec: PUQ. p. 463. {{ISBN|2-7605-1588-5}}. Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was later described as Pax Britannica ("British Peace"), a period of relative peace among the Great Powers (1815–1914) during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.Johnston, pp. 508–510.Porter, p. 332.Sondhaus, L. (2004). Navies in Modern World History. London: Reaktion Books. p. 9. {{ISBN|1-86189-202-0}}.BOOK, Andrew, Porter, The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III, Oxford University Press, 1998, 978-0-19-924678-6,weblink refOHBEv3, 332, By the time of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Britain was described as the "workshop of the world".WEB,weblink The Workshop of the World, BBC History, 28 April 2013, The British Empire was expanded to include India, large parts of Africa and many other territories throughout the world. Alongside the formal control it exerted over its own colonies, British dominance of much of world trade meant that it effectively controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America.BOOK, Andrew, Porter, The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III, Oxford University Press, 1998, 978-0-19-924678-6,weblink refOHBEv3, 8, BOOK, P.J., Marshall, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire, Cambridge University Press, 1996, 978-0-521-00254-7,weblink refMarshall, 156–157, Domestically, political attitudes favoured free trade and laissez-faire policies and a gradual widening of the voting franchise. During the century, the population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied by rapid urbanisation, causing significant social and economic stresses.BOOK,weblink Great Britain: a reference guide from the Renaissance to the present, 63, Richard S., Tompson, 2003, 978-0-8160-4474-0, New York, Facts on File, To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the Conservative Party under Disraeli launched a period of imperialist expansion in Egypt, South Africa, and elsewhere. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand became self-governing dominions.BOOK, World War I: People, Politics, and Power, America at War, 21, Britannica Educational Publishing, Hosch, William L., 2009, 978-1-61530-048-8, New York, After the turn of the century, Britain's industrial dominance was challenged by Germany and the United States.BOOK,weblink Contradictions: Finance, Greed, and Labor Unequally Paid, Zarembka, Paul, 2013, Emerald Group Publishing, 978-1-78190-670-5, File:Royal Irish Rifles ration party Somme July 1916.jpg|thumb|alt=Black-and-white photo of two dozen men in military uniforms and metal helmets sitting or standing in a muddy trench.|Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the SommeBattle of the SommeSocial reform and home rule for Ireland were important domestic issues after 1900. The Labour Party emerged from an alliance of trade unions and small socialist groups in 1900, and suffragettes campaigned from before 1914 for women's right to vote.Sophia A. Van Wingerden, The women's suffrage movement in Britain, 1866–1928 (1999) ch 1.Britain fought alongside France, Russia and (after 1917) the United States, against Germany and its allies in the First World War (1914–1918).Turner, John (1988). Britain and the First World War. London: Unwin Hyman. pp. 22–35. {{ISBN|978-0-04-445109-9}}. British armed forces were engaged across much of the British Empire and in several regions of Europe, particularly on the Western front. The high fatalities of trench warfare caused the loss of much of a generation of men, with lasting social effects in the nation and a great disruption in the social order.After the war, Britain received the League of Nations mandate over a number of former German and Ottoman colonies. The British Empire reached its greatest extent, covering a fifth of the world's land surface and a quarter of its population.Turner, J. (1988). Britain and the First World War. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 41. {{ISBN|0-04-445109-1}}. Britain had suffered 2.5 million casualties and finished the war with a huge national debt.Westwell, I.; Cove, D. (eds) (2002). History of World War I, Volume 3. London: Marshall Cavendish. pp. 698 and 705. {{ISBN|0-7614-7231-2}}.

Between the World Wars

The rise of Irish nationalism, and disputes within Ireland over the terms of Irish Home Rule, led eventually to the partition of the island in 1921.SR&O 1921, No. 533 of 3 May 1921. The Irish Free State became independent, initially with Dominion status in 1922, and unambiguously independent in 1931. Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom.WEB,weblink The Anglo-Irish Treaty, 6 December 1921, CAIN, 15 May 2006, The 1928 Act widened suffrage by giving women electoral equality with men. A wave of strikes in the mid-1920s culminated in the General Strike of 1926. Britain had still not recovered from the effects of the war when the Great Depression (1929–1932) occurred. This led to considerable unemployment and hardship in the old industrial areas, as well as political and social unrest in the 1930s, with rising membership in communist and socialist parties. A coalition government was formed in 1931.Rubinstein, W.D. (2004). Capitalism, Culture, and Decline in Britain, 1750–1990. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 11. {{ISBN|0-415-03719-0}}.Britain entered the Second World War by declaring war on Nazi Germany in 1939 after Germany had invaded Poland. Winston Churchill became prime minister and head of a coalition government in 1940. Despite the defeat of its European allies in the first year of the war, Britain and its Empire continued the fight alone against Germany. In 1940, the Royal Air Force defeated the German Luftwaffe in a struggle for control of the skies in the Battle of Britain. Urban areas suffered heavy bombing during the Blitz. There were also eventual hard-fought victories in the Battle of the Atlantic, the North Africa campaign and the Burma campaign. British forces played an important role in the Normandy landings of 1944, achieved with its United States ally.

Since the Second World War

File:The British Empire.png|thumb|upright=1.65|alt=Map of the world. Canada, the eastern United States, countries in East Africa, India, most of Australasia and some other countries are highlighted in pink.|Map showing territories that were at one time part of the British Empire, with the United Kingdom and its current British Overseas Territories and Crown DependenciesCrown DependenciesAfter the end of the Second World War in 1945, the UK was one of the Big Four powers (along with the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China) who met to plan the post-war world;BOOK, Doenecke, Justus D., Stoler, Mark A., Debating Franklin D. Roosevelt's foreign policies, 1933–1945,weblink 2005, 19 March 2016, 978-0-8476-9416-7, JOURNAL,weblink The Four Policemen and. Postwar Planning, 1943-1945: The Collision of Realist and. Idealist Perspectives, Kelly, Brian, 25 August 2015, it was an original signatory to the Declaration of the United Nations. The UK became one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and worked closely with the United States to establish the IMF, World Bank and NATO.NEWS,weblink The "Special Relationship" between Great Britain and the United States Began with FDR., 22 July 2010, Roosevelt Institute, 24 January 2018, and the joint efforts of both powers to create a new post-war strategic and economic order through the drafting of the Atlantic Charter; the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; and the creation of the United Nations., NEWS,weblink Remarks by the President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron in Joint Press Conference, 22 April 2016,, 24 January 2018, That's what we built after World War II. The United States and the UK designed a set of institutions – whether it was the United Nations, or the Bretton Woods structure, IMF, World Bank, NATO, across the board., The war left the UK severely weakened and depending financially on the Marshall Plan.NEWS,weblink Britain to make its final payment on World War II loan from U.S., The New York Times, 28 December 2006, 25 August 2011, In the immediate post-war years, the Labour government initiated a radical programme of reforms, which had a significant effect on British society in the following decades.BOOK, Ideas and policies under Labour, 1945–1951: Building a new Britain, Martin, Francis, 225–233, 1997, 978-0-7190-4833-3, Manchester University Press, Major industries and public utilities were nationalised, a welfare state was established, and a comprehensive, publicly funded healthcare system, the National Health Service, was created.BOOK, Aspects of British political history, 1914–1995, Stephen J., Lee, 1996, 173–199, 978-0-415-13103-2, Routledge, London; New York, The rise of nationalism in the colonies coincided with Britain's now much-diminished economic position, so that a policy of decolonisation was unavoidable. Independence was granted to India and Pakistan in 1947.BOOK,weblink A companion to Europe since 1945, 118, Klaus, Larres, 2009, 978-1-4051-0612-2, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, Over the next three decades, most colonies of the British Empire gained their independence, with all those that sought independence supported by the U.K, during both the transition period and afterwards. Many became members of the Commonwealth of Nations.WEB,weblink Country List,weblink" title="">weblink 6 May 2013, 8 March 2015, 19 March 2009, Commonwealth Secretariat, The UK was the third country to develop a nuclear weapons arsenal (with its first atomic bomb test in 1952), but the new post-war limits of Britain's international role were illustrated by the Suez Crisis of 1956. The international spread of the English language ensured the continuing international influence of its literature and culture. As a result of a shortage of workers in the 1950s, the government encouraged immigration from Commonwealth countries. In the following decades, the UK became a more multi-ethnic society than before.BOOK,weblink Contemporary British identity: English language, migrants, and public discourse, Studies in migration and diaspora, Christina, Julios, 84, 978-0-7546-7158-9, 2008, Ashgate, Aldershot, Despite rising living standards in the late 1950s and 1960s, the UK's economic performance was less successful than many of its main competitors such as France, West Germany and Japan.File:Tratado de Lisboa 13 12 2007 (081).jpg|thumb|left|Leaders of member states of the European Union in 2007. The UK entered the European Economic Community in 1973. In a (1975 United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum|referendum held in 1975]], 67 per cent of voters voted to remain in the EEC,NEWS,weblink 1975: UK embraces Europe in referendum, BBC News, 8 March 2015, but 52 per cent voted to leave the EU in 2016.NEWS,weblink The UK's EU referendum: All you need to know, Brian, Wheeler, Alex, Hunt, BBC News, 17 December 2018, )In the decade-long process of European integration, the UK was a founding member of the alliance called the Western European Union, established with the London and Paris Conferences in 1954. In 1960 the UK was one of the seven founding members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), but in 1973 it left to join the European Communities (EC). When the EC became the European Union (EU) in 1992, the UK was one of the 12 founding members. The Treaty of Lisbon was signed in 2007, which forms the constitutional basis of the European Union since then.From the late 1960s, Northern Ireland suffered communal and paramilitary violence (sometimes affecting other parts of the UK) conventionally known as the Troubles. It is usually considered to have ended with the Belfast "Good Friday" Agreement of 1998.BOOK, The Politics of Northern Ireland: Beyond the Belfast Agreement, Arthur, Aughey, 978-0-415-32788-6, 7, 2005, London, Routledge, "The troubles were over, but the killing continued. Some of the heirs to Ireland's violent traditions refused to give up their inheritance." BOOK, Holland, Jack, Hope against History: The Course of Conflict in Northern Ireland, Henry Holt, New York, 1999, 221, 978-0-8050-6087-4,weblink Elliot, Marianne (2007). The Long Road to Peace in Northern Ireland: Peace Lectures from the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University. University of Liverpool Institute of Irish Studies, Liverpool University Press. p. 2. {{ISBN|1-84631-065-2}}.Following a period of widespread economic slowdown and industrial strife in the 1970s, the Conservative government of the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher initiated a radical policy of monetarism, deregulation, particularly of the financial sector (for example, Big Bang in 1986) and labour markets, the sale of state-owned companies (privatisation), and the withdrawal of subsidies to others.BOOK, British politics since 1945, Peter, Dorey, 1995, 164–223, 978-0-631-19075-2, Oxford, Blackwell, Making contemporary Britain, From 1984, the economy was helped by the inflow of substantial North Sea oil revenues.BOOK,weblink Applied Economics, Financial Times Press, 2007, 11th, 26 December 2010, 6, Griffiths, Alan, Wall, Stuart, Harlow, 978-0-273-70822-3, Around the end of the 20th century there were major changes to the governance of the UK with the establishment of devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.JOURNAL, Reforging the Union: Devolution and Constitutional Change in the United Kingdom, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 28, 1, 217–234, Keating, Michael, 1 January 1998, 10.1093/oxfordjournals.pubjof.a029948, The statutory incorporation followed acceptance of the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK is still a key global player diplomatically and militarily. It plays leading roles in the EU, UN and NATO. Controversy surrounds some of Britain's overseas military deployments, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.NEWS,weblink Jackson, Mike, Military action alone will not save Libya, Financial Times, London, 3 April 2011, The 2008 global financial crisis severely affected the UK economy. The coalition government of 2010 introduced austerity measures intended to tackle the substantial public deficits which resulted.NEWS,weblink United Kingdom country profile, BBC News, 24 January 2013, 9 April 2013, In 2014 the Scottish Government held a referendum on Scottish independence, with 55.3 per cent of voters rejecting the independence proposal and opting to remain within the United Kingdom.NEWS,weblink Scotland to hold independence poll in 2014 â€“ Salmond, 10 January 2012, BBC News, 10 January 2012, In 2016, 51.9 per cent of voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.NEWS,weblink In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U., 24 June 2016, The Washington Post, 24 June 2016, The legal process of leaving the EU began on 29 March 2017, with the UK's invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, formally notifying the EU of the UK's intention to leave. The article stipulates that the negotiations to leave will last at least two years. The UK remains a full member of the EU during this time.NEWS,weblink Dan, Bloom, Brexit Day recap: Article 50 officially triggered on historic day as Theresa May warns: 'No turning back', 29 March 2017, 29 March 2017, Daily Mirror, NEWS,weblink Theresa May officially starts Brexit process; Article 50 letter handed over, Adler, Katya, 29 March 2017, BBC News, 29 March 2017,


(File:Uk topo en.jpg|thumb|upright|right|alt=Map of United Kingdom showing hilly regions to north and west, and flattest region in the south-east.|Topography of the UK)The total area of the United Kingdom is approximately {{convert|244820|km2|sqmi|-1}}. The country occupies the major part of the British IslesOxford English Dictionary: "British Isles: a geographical term for the islands comprising Great Britain and Ireland with all their offshore islands including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands." archipelago and includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland and some smaller surrounding islands. It lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea with the south-east coast coming within {{convert|35|km|mi|0|order=flip}} of the coast of northern France, from which it is separated by the English Channel.WEB,weblink United Kingdom, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 23 September 2008, In 1993 10 per cent of the UK was forested, 46 per cent used for pastures and 25 per cent cultivated for agriculture.WEB, Latimer Clarke Corporation Pty Ltd,weblink United Kingdom â€“ Atlapedia Online,, 26 October 2010, The Royal Greenwich Observatory in London was chosen as the defining point of the Prime MeridianWEB,weblink The Prime Meridian at Greenwich, ROG Learning Team, 23 August 2002, Royal Museums Greenwich, Royal Museums Greenwich, 11 September 2012, in Washington in 1884, though it no longer is.NEWS,weblink
, Greenwich Royal Observatory: How the Prime Meridian line is actually 100 metres away from where it was believed to be, 13 August 2015, The Independent, London, 13 December 2018,
The United Kingdom lies between latitudes 49° and 61° N, and longitudes 9° W and 2° E. Northern Ireland shares a {{convert|360|km|mi|0|adj=on|order=flip}} land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The coastline of Great Britain is {{convert|17820|km|mi|0|order=flip}} long.WEB,weblink How long is the UK coastline?, Giles, Darkes, January 2008, 24 January 2015, The British Cartographic Society, It is connected to continental Europe by the Channel Tunnel, which at {{convert|50|km|mi|0|order=flip}} ({{convert|38|km|mi|0|order=flip}} underwater) is the longest underwater tunnel in the world.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 18 December 2010, The Channel Tunnel, Eurotunnel, 8 March 2015, England accounts for just over half (53 per cent) of the total area of the UK, covering {{convert|130395|km2|sqmi|-1}}.NEWS,weblink BBC News, England â€“ Profile, 11 February 2010, Most of the country consists of lowland terrain, with mountainous terrain north-west of the Tees-Exe line; including the Cumbrian Mountains of the Lake District, the Pennines, Exmoor and Dartmoor. The main rivers and estuaries are the Thames, Severn and the Humber. England's highest mountain is Scafell Pike ({{convert|978|m|ft|0}}) in the Lake District.{{multiple image | align = left | direction = vertical | image1 = Keswick Panorama - Oct 2009.jpg | width1 = 225 | caption1 = The Skiddaw massif, town of Keswick and Derwent Water in Lakeland| alt1 = | image2 = Quiraing Isle of Skye Pano.jpg | width2 = 225 | caption2 = Skye is one of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides and part of the Scottish Highlands. }}Scotland accounts for just under a third (32 per cent) of the total area of the UK, covering {{convert|78772|km2|sqmi|-1}}.WEB,weblink Scotland Facts, Scotland Online Gateway, 16 July 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 21 June 2008, This includes nearly eight hundred islands,NEWS,weblink The complete guide to the ... Scottish Islands, The Independent, London, 1 June 2000, Jon, Winter, 8 March 2015, predominantly west and north of the mainland; notably the Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands. Scotland is the most mountainous country in the UK and its topography is distinguished by the Highland Boundary Fault – a geological rock fracture – which traverses Scotland from Arran in the west to Stonehaven in the east.WEB,weblink Overview of Highland Boundary Fault, Gazetteer for Scotland, University of Edinburgh, 27 December 2010, The fault separates two distinctively different regions; namely the Highlands to the north and west and the Lowlands to the south and east. The more rugged Highland region contains the majority of Scotland's mountainous land, including Ben Nevis which at {{convert|1345|m|ft|0}}WEB,weblink Great Britain's tallest mountain is taller, Ordnance Survey, 9 September 2018, 18 March 2016, is the highest point in the British Isles.WEB,weblink Ben Nevis Weather, Ben Nevis Weather, 26 October 2008, Lowland areas – especially the narrow waist of land between the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth known as the Central Belt – are flatter and home to most of the population including Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, and Edinburgh, its capital and political centre, although upland and mountainous terrain lies within the Southern Uplands.Wales accounts for less than a tenth (9 per cent) of the total area of the UK, covering {{convert|20779|km2|sqmi|-1}}.NEWS,weblink Profile: Wales, BBC News, 9 June 2010, 7 November 2010, Wales is mostly mountainous, though South Wales is less mountainous than North and mid Wales. The main population and industrial areas are in South Wales, consisting of the coastal cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and the South Wales Valleys to their north. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia and include Snowdon () which, at {{convert|1085|m|ft|0}}, is the highest peak in Wales. Wales has over {{convert|1680|mi|0|abbr=off|order=flip}} of coastline. Several islands lie off the Welsh mainland, the largest of which is Anglesey (Ynys Môn) in the north-west.Northern Ireland, separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea and North Channel, has an area of {{convert|14160|km2|sqmi|-1}} and is mostly hilly. It includes Lough Neagh which, at {{convert|388|km2|sqmi|0}}, is the largest lake in the British Isles by area.WEB,weblink Geography of Northern Ireland, University of Ulster, 22 May 2006, The highest peak in Northern Ireland is Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains at {{convert|852|m|ft|0}}.


The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons seldom dropping below {{convert|-11|C|lk=on}} or rising above {{convert|35|C}}.WEB,weblink UK climate summaries, Met Office, 1 May 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 May 2012, The prevailing wind is from the south-west and bears frequent spells of mild and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean, although the eastern parts are mostly sheltered from this wind since the majority of the rain falls over the western regions the eastern parts are therefore the driest. Atlantic currents, warmed by the Gulf Stream, bring mild winters;WEB,weblink Atlantic Ocean Circulation (Gulf Stream), UK Climate Projections, Met Office, 8 March 2015, especially in the west where winters are wet and even more so over high ground. Summers are warmest in the south-east of England, being closest to the European mainland, and coolest in the north. Heavy snowfall can occur in winter and early spring on high ground, and occasionally settles to great depth away from the hills.{{Image frame|width=250|content={{Image label begin|image=United Kingdom countries.svg|link=|width=250|float=none}}{{Image label small|x=0.625|y=1.2|scale=250|text =England}}{{Image label small|x=0.375|y=0.7|scale=250|text=Scotland}}{{Image label small|x=0.4|y=1.3|scale=250|text= Wales}}{{Image label small|x=0.15|y=0.95|scale=250|text =NorthernIreland}}{{Image label end}}|caption= The four countries of the United Kingdom}}

Administrative divisions

The geographical division of the United Kingdom into counties or shires began in England and Scotland in the early Middle Ages and was complete throughout Great Britain and Ireland by the early Modern Period.Hackwood Frederick William: The Story of the Shire, Being the Lore, History and Evolution of English County Institutions (1851) Administrative arrangements were developed separately in each country of the United Kingdom, with origins which often pre-dated the formation of the United Kingdom. Modern local government by elected councils, partly based on the ancient counties, was introduced separately: in England and Wales in a 1888 act, Scotland in a 1889 act and Ireland in a 1898 act, meaning there is no consistent system of administrative or geographic demarcation across the United Kingdom.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 11 December 2009, live, Ninth UN Conference on the standardization of Geographical Names, August 2007, United Nations Economic and Social Council, UN Statistics Division, 21 October 2008, United Nations Economic and Social Council, Until the 19th century there was little change to those arrangements, but there has since been a constant evolution of role and function.BOOK, Barlow, I.M., Metropolitan Government, 1991, Routledge, London, 978-0-415-02099-2, The organisation of local government in England is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to local arrangements. The upper-tier subdivisions of England are the nine regions, now used primarily for statistical purposes.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 6 June 2009, dead, Government Offices, 3 July 2008, Welcome to the national site of the Government Office Network, One region, Greater London, has had a directly elected assembly and mayor since 2000 following popular support for the proposal in a referendum.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 21 April 2008, A short history of London government, Greater London Authority, 4 October 2008, It was intended that other regions would also be given their own elected regional assemblies, but a proposed assembly in the North East region was rejected by a referendum in 2004.NEWS,weblink Prescott's dream in tatters as North East rejects assembly, 15 February 2008, The Times, London, Jill, Sherman, Andrew, Norfolk, 5 November 2004, The Government is now expected to tear up its twelve-year-old plan to create eight or nine regional assemblies in England to mirror devolution in Scotland and Wales., {{subscription required}} Below the regional tier, some parts of England have county councils and district councils and others have unitary authorities; while London consists of 32 London boroughs and the City of London. Councillors are elected by the first-past-the-post system in single-member wards or by the multi-member plurality system in multi-member wards.WEB,weblink Local Authority Elections, Local Government Association, 8 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 January 2012, For local government purposes, Scotland is divided into 32 council areas, with wide variation in both size and population. The cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee are separate council areas, as is the Highland Council, which includes a third of Scotland's area but only just over 200,000 people. Local councils are made up of elected councillors, of whom there are 1,223;WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 February 2011, dead, STV in Scotland: Local Government Elections 2007, Political Studies Association, 2 August 2008, they are paid a part-time salary. Elections are conducted by single transferable vote in multi-member wards that elect either three or four councillors. Each council elects a Provost, or Convenor, to chair meetings of the council and to act as a figurehead for the area.Local government in Wales consists of 22 unitary authorities. These include the cities of Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, which are unitary authorities in their own right.WEB,weblink Unitary authorities, Welsh Government, 2014, 9 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 March 2015, Elections are held every four years under the first-past-the-post system.Local government in Northern Ireland has since 1973 been organised into 26 district councils, each elected by single transferable vote. Their powers are limited to services such as collecting waste, controlling dogs and maintaining parks and cemeteries.NEWS,weblink NI local government set for shake-up, BBC News, 18 November 2005, 15 November 2008, Mark, Devenport, In 2008 the executive agreed on proposals to create 11 new councils and replace the present system.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Foster announces the future shape of local government, Northern Ireland Executive, 13 March 2008, 20 October 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 July 2008,


{{random item|range=15thumbA view of the Caribbean Sea from the (Cayman Islands]], one of the world's foremost international financial centresHTTPS://WWW.CIBC.COM/CA/PWM-GLOBAL/LOCATIONS/CARIBBEAN/CAYMAN-ISLANDS.HTML >TITLE=CIBC PWM GLOBAL â€“ INTRODUCTION TO THE CAYMAN ISLANDS DATE=11 JULY 2012 LOCATION=WASHINGTON DC FIRST=LAURIE ACCESSDATE=9 APRIL 2013, )thumb(Anguilla]]: Cap Juluca, Maundays Bay)thumbBermuda: St. George's harbour and town]]thumbBritish Antarctic Territory: RotheraRotherathumbBritish Virgin Islands: Road Town, TortolaTortolathumb(Falkland Islands]]: Upland)thumbGibraltar: The Mediterranean Sea from the Rock of GibraltarRock of GibraltarthumbMontserrat: Soufrière Hills volcanoSoufrière Hills volcanothumbPitcairn Islands: Bounty BayBounty BaythumbSaint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha: Jamestown, Saint HelenaJamestown, Saint HelenathumbSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands: GrytvikenGrytvikenthumbTurks and Caicos Islands: Cockburn TownCockburn TownthumbMont Orgueil has guarded Jersey's east coast since the 13th century)thumbA view of St Peter Port, GuernseyGuernseythumbDouglas, the capital of the Isle of ManIsle of Man}}The United Kingdom has sovereignty over seventeen territories which do not form part of the United Kingdom itself: fourteen British Overseas Territories and three Crown dependencies.WEB,weblink Background briefing on the Crown Dependencies: Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, Ministry of Justice, 9 March 2015, The fourteen British Overseas Territories are: Anguilla; Bermuda; the British Antarctic Territory; the British Indian Ocean Territory; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Pitcairn Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; and Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the island of Cyprus.WEB,weblink Overseas Territories, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 6 September 2010, bot: unknown,weblink 5 February 2008, British claims in Antarctica are not universally recognised, mainly by Argentina, whose claims cover a majority of the British sector.WEB,weblink The World Factbook, CIA, 26 December 2010, Collectively Britain's overseas territories encompass an approximate land area of {{convert|667018|sqmi|km2|order=flip}} and a population of approximately 260,000 people.WEB,weblinkweblink 12 December 2012, Country profiles, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 21 February 2008, 9 March 2015, They are the last remaining remnants of the British Empire and a 1999 UK government white paper stated that: "[The] Overseas Territories are British for as long as they wish to remain British. Britain has willingly granted independence where it has been requested; and we will continue to do so where this is an option."WEB,weblink Partnership for Progress and Prosperity, UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, 28 March 2017, Self-determination is also enshrined into the constitutions of several overseas territories and three have specifically voted to remain under British sovereignty (Bermuda in 1995,NEWS,weblink Bermudians vote to stay British, Davison, Phil, The Independent, London, 18 August 1995, 11 September 2012, Gibraltar in 2002NEWS,weblink Gibraltar referendum result in quotes, 8 November 2002, BBC News, and the Falkland Islands in 2013).NEWS,weblink Falklands: Cameron says Argentina should respect vote, BBC News, 12 March 2013, 12 March 2013, The Crown dependencies are possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the UK.WEB, The Committee Office, House of Commons,weblink House of Commons â€“ Crown Dependencies â€“ Justice Committee,, 7 November 2010, They comprise three independently administered jurisdictions: the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. By mutual agreement, the British Government manages the islands' foreign affairs and defence and the UK Parliament has the authority to legislate on their behalf. Internationally, they are regarded as "territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible".Fact sheet on the UK's relationship with the Crown Dependencies â€“, Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 25 August 2014. The power to pass legislation affecting the islands ultimately rests with their own respective legislative assemblies, with the assent of the Crown (Privy Council or, in the case of the Isle of Man, in certain circumstances the Lieutenant-Governor).WEB,weblink Profile of Jersey, States of Jersey, 31 July 2008, The legislature passes primary legislation, which requires approval by The Queen in Council, and enacts subordinate legislation in many areas without any requirement for Royal Sanction and under powers conferred by primary legislation., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 September 2006, Since 2005 each Crown dependency has had a Chief Minister as its head of government.PRESS RELEASE,weblink Chief Minister to meet Channel Islands counterparts â€“ Isle of Man Public Services, Isle of Man Government, 29 May 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 30 April 2013, 8 March 2015, The British dependencies use a varied assortment of currencies. These include the British pound, US dollar, New Zealand dollar, euro or their own currencies, which may be pegged to either.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}{{UK territories image map}}


{{multiple image| align = right| total_width = 300| image1 = Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015.jpg| caption1 = Queen Elizabeth II, Monarch since 1952| image2 = Boris Johnson official portrait (cropped).jpg| caption2 = Boris Johnson, Prime Minister since 2019}}The United Kingdom is a unitary state under a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch and head of state of the UK, as well as fifteen other independent countries. These sixteen countries are sometimes referred to as "Commonwealth realms". The monarch has "the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn".Bagehot, Walter (1867). The English Constitution. London: Chapman and Hall. p. 103. The Constitution of the United Kingdom is uncodified and consists mostly of a collection of disparate written sources, including statutes, judge-made case law and international treaties, together with constitutional conventions.WEB,weblink A Guide To the UK Legal System, University of Kent, University of Kent at Canterbury, 16 May 2006, Carter, Sarah, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 May 2012, As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and "constitutional law", the UK Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament, and thus has the political power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. No Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 23 April 2010, dead, Parliamentary sovereignty, UK Parliament, n.d.,


File:London Parliament 2007-1.jpg|thumb|upright=1.25|alt=Large sand-coloured building of Gothic design beside brown river and road bridge. The building has several large towers, including large clock tower.|The Palace of WestminsterPalace of Westminster(File:UK Political System.png|thumb|Organizational chart of the UK political system)The UK has a parliamentary government based on the Westminster system that has been emulated around the world: a legacy of the British Empire. The parliament of the United Kingdom meets in the Palace of Westminster and has two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. All bills passed are given Royal Assent before becoming law.The position of prime minister,Since the early twentieth century the prime minister has held the office of First Lord of the Treasury, and in recent decades has also held the office of Minister for the Civil Service. the UK's head of government,WEB, The Government, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Public services all in one place, Directgov,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2012, 9 March 2015, belongs to the person most likely to command the confidence of the House of Commons; this individual is typically the leader of the political party or coalition of parties that holds the largest number of seats in that chamber. The prime minister chooses a cabinet and its members are formally appointed by the monarch to form Her Majesty's Government. By convention, the monarch respects the prime minister's decisions of government.NEWS,weblink Brown is UK's new prime minister, 27 June 2007, 23 January 2008, BBC News, The cabinet is traditionally drawn from members of the prime minister's party or coalition and mostly from the House of Commons but always from both legislative houses, the cabinet being responsible to both. Executive power is exercised by the prime minister and cabinet, all of whom are sworn into the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, and become Ministers of the Crown. The current Prime Minister is Boris Johnson, who has been in office since 24 July 2019. Johnson is also the leader of the Conservative Party. For elections to the House of Commons, the UK is divided into 650 constituencies,WEB,weblink Elections and voting, UK Parliament, 19 February 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 14 November 2010, 5 November 2010, dead, each electing a single member of parliament (MP) by simple plurality. General elections are called by the monarch when the prime minister so advises. Prior to the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 required that a new election must be called no later than five years after the previous general election.WEB,weblink The Parliament Acts, UK Parliament,weblink" title="">weblink 14 November 2010, 5 November 2010, 19 February 2017, dead, The Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats (formerly as the Liberal Party) have, in modern times, been considered the UK's three major political parties,BOOK, Crooked Margins and Marginal Seats, James, Cornford, Daniel, Dorling, British Elections and Parties Review, Volume 7, Charles, Pattie, David, Denver, Justin, Fisher, Steve, Ludlam, 3, Frank Cass, London, 1997, 85,weblink representing the British traditions of conservatism, socialism and liberalism, respectively.NEWS, Ideological Development in the UK,weblink BBC News, 9 August 2017, 4 November 2004, In both the 2015 and 2017 general elections, the Scottish National Party was the third-largest party by number of seats won, ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Most of the remaining seats were won by parties that contest elections only in one part of the UK: Plaid Cymru (Wales only); and the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin (Northern Ireland onlySinn Féin, an Irish nationalist party, also contests elections in the Republic of Ireland.). In accordance with party policy, no elected Sinn Féin members of parliament have ever attended the House of Commons to speak on behalf of their constituents because of the requirement to take an oath of allegiance to the monarch.NEWS, McDonald, Henry, Sinn Féin MP says party will always boycott Westminster, despite report,weblink The Guardian, London, 1 May 2015, 7 July 2015,

Devolved administrations

File:Scottish Parliament, Main Debating Chamber - - 1650829.jpg|thumb|left|alt=Modern one-story building with grass on roof and large sculpted grass area in front. Behind are residential buildings in a mixture of styles.|The Scottish Parliament Building in Holyrood is the seat of the Scottish ParliamentScottish ParliamentScotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own government or executive, led by a First Minister (or, in the case of Northern Ireland, a diarchal First Minister and deputy First Minister), and a devolved unicameral legislature. England, the largest country of the United Kingdom, has no such devolved executive or legislature and is administered and legislated for directly by the UK's government and parliament on all issues. This situation has given rise to the so-called West Lothian question, which concerns the fact that members of parliament from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can vote, sometimes decisively,NEWS,weblink Scots MPs attacked over fees vote, BBC News, 27 January 2004, 21 October 2008, on matters that affect only England.NEWS,weblink Talking Politics: The West Lothian Question, BBC News, Brian, Taylor, 1 June 1998, 21 October 2008, The 2013 McKay Commission on this recommended that laws affecting only England should need support from a majority of English members of parliament.NEWS,weblink England-only laws 'need majority from English MPs', BBC News, 25 March 2013, 28 April 2013, File:Prime Minister meets the First Minister of Scotland.jpg|thumb|right|Prime Minister Theresa May meets First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon outside 10 Downing Street10 Downing StreetThe Scottish Government and Parliament have wide-ranging powers over any matter that has not been specifically reserved to the UK Parliament, including education, healthcare, Scots law and local government.NEWS,weblink Scotland's Parliament â€“ powers and structures, BBC News, 8 April 1999, 21 October 2008, In 2012, the UK and Scottish governments signed the Edinburgh Agreement setting out the terms for a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, which was defeated 55.3 per cent to 44.7 per cent – resulting in Scotland remaining a devolved part of the United Kingdom.NEWS, Scotland Votes No,weblink 4 August 2017, BBC News, 19 September 2014, The Welsh Government and the National Assembly for Wales have more limited powers than those devolved to Scotland.NEWS,weblink Structure and powers of the Assembly, BBC News, 9 April 1999, 21 October 2008, The Assembly is able to legislate on devolved matters through Acts of the Assembly, which require no prior consent from Westminster.The Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly have powers similar to those devolved to Scotland. The Executive is led by a diarchy representing unionist and nationalist members of the Assembly.WEB,weblink Your Executive, Northern Ireland Executive, 25 September 2015, Devolution to Northern Ireland is contingent on participation by the Northern Ireland administration in the North-South Ministerial Council, where the Northern Ireland Executive cooperates and develops joint and shared policies with the Government of Ireland. The British and Irish governments co-operate on non-devolved matters affecting Northern Ireland through the British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference, which assumes the responsibilities of the Northern Ireland administration in the event of its non-operation.The UK does not have a codified constitution and constitutional matters are not among the powers devolved to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Under the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the UK Parliament could, in theory, therefore, abolish the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland Assembly.JOURNAL, Burrows, N., 10.1111/1468-2230.00203, Unfinished Business: The Scotland Act 1998, The Modern Law Review, 62, 2, 1999, 241–260 [p. 249], The UK Parliament is sovereign and the Scottish Parliament is subordinate. The White Paper had indicated that this was to be the approach taken in the legislation. The Scottish Parliament is not to be seen as a reflection of the settled will of the people of Scotland or of popular sovereignty but as a reflection of its subordination to a higher legal authority. Following the logic of this argument, the power of the Scottish Parliament to legislate can be withdrawn or overridden..., JOURNAL, Elliot, M., 10.1093/icon/2.3.545, United Kingdom: Parliamentary sovereignty under pressure, International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2, 3, 2004, 545–627, 553–554, Notwithstanding substantial differences among the schemes, an important common factor is that the U.K. Parliament has not renounced legislative sovereignty in relation to the three nations concerned. For example, the Scottish Parliament is empowered to enact primary legislation on all matters, save those in relation to which competence is explicitly denied ... but this power to legislate on what may be termed "devolved matters" is concurrent with the Westminster Parliament's general power to legislate for Scotland on any matter at all, including devolved matters ... In theory, therefore, Westminster may legislate on Scottish devolved matters whenever it chooses..., Indeed, in 1972, the UK Parliament unilaterally prorogued the Parliament of Northern Ireland, setting a precedent relevant to contemporary devolved institutions.JOURNAL, Walker, G., 10.1086/644536, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Devolution, 1945–1979, Journal of British Studies, 39, 1, 2010, 117–142, In practice, it would be politically difficult for the UK Parliament to abolish devolution to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, given the political entrenchment created by referendum decisions.JOURNAL, Gamble, A., 10.1093/publius/pjj011, The Constitutional Revolution in the United Kingdom, Publius, 36, 1, 19–35 [p. 29], The British parliament has the power to abolish the Scottish parliament and the Welsh assembly by a simple majority vote in both houses, but since both were sanctioned by referenda, it would be politically difficult to abolish them without the sanction of a further vote by the people. In this way, several of the constitutional measures introduced by the Blair government appear to be entrenched and not subject to a simple exercise of parliamentary sovereignty at Westminster., 2006, The political constraints placed upon the UK Parliament's power to interfere with devolution in Northern Ireland are even greater than in relation to Scotland and Wales, given that devolution in Northern Ireland rests upon an international agreement with the Government of Ireland.JOURNAL, Meehan, E., 10.1093/pa/52.1.19, The Belfast Agreement – Its Distinctiveness and Points of Cross-Fertilization in the UK's Devolution Programme, Parliamentary Affairs, 52, 1, 1999, 19–31 [p. 23], The distinctive involvement of two governments in the Northern Irish problem means that Northern Ireland's new arrangements rest upon an intergovernmental agreement. If this can be equated with a treaty, it could be argued that the forthcoming distribution of power between Westminster and Belfast has similarities with divisions specified in the written constitutions of federal states... Although the Agreement makes the general proviso that Westminster's 'powers to make legislation for Northern Ireland' remains 'unaffected', without an explicit categorical reference to reserved matters, it may be more difficult than in Scotland or Wales for devolved powers to be repatriated. The retraction of devolved powers would not merely entail consultation in Northern Ireland backed implicitly by the absolute power of parliamentary sovereignty but also the renegotiation of an intergovernmental agreement.,

Law and criminal justice

File:Royal courts of justice.jpg|thumb|right|The Royal Courts of Justice of England and WalesEngland and WalesThe United Kingdom does not have a single legal system as Article 19 of the 1706 Treaty of Union provided for the continuation of Scotland's separate legal system.WEB,weblink The Treaty (act) of the Union of Parliament 1706, Scottish History Online, 5 October 2008, Today the UK has three distinct systems of law: English law, Northern Ireland law and Scots law. A new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom came into being in October 2009 to replace the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords.NEWS,weblink UK Supreme Court judges sworn in, BBC News, 1 October 2009, WEB,weblinkweblink 17 January 2009, Constitutional reform: A Supreme Court for the United Kingdom, Department for Constitutional Affairs, July 2003, 13 May 2013, dead, The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, including the same members as the Supreme Court, is the highest court of appeal for several independent Commonwealth countries, the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies.WEB,weblink Role of the JCPC, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, 28 April 2013, Both English law, which applies in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland law are based on common-law principles.BOOK,weblink Andrew, Bainham, The international survey of family law: 1996, 298, 978-90-411-0573-8, 1998, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The essence of common law is that, subject to statute, the law is developed by judges in courts, applying statute, precedent and common sense to the facts before them to give explanatory judgements of the relevant legal principles, which are reported and binding in future similar cases (stare decisis).BOOK,weblink World dictionary of foreign expressions, Adeleye, Gabriel, Acquah-Dadzie, Kofi, Sienkewicz, Thomas, McDonough, James, 371, 978-0-86516-423-9, 1999, Waucojnda, IL, Bolchazy-Carducci, The courts of England and Wales are headed by the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice (for civil cases) and the Crown Court (for criminal cases). The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land for both criminal and civil appeal cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and any decision it makes is binding on every other court in the same jurisdiction, often having a persuasive effect in other jurisdictions.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 14 April 2013, The Australian courts and comparative law, Australian Law Postgraduate Network, 9 March 2015, File:High Court of Justiciary.jpg|thumb|left|upright|The High Court of Justiciary – the supreme criminal court of ScotlandScotlandScots law is a hybrid system based on both common-law and civil-law principles. The chief courts are the Court of Session, for civil cases,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 31 July 2008, Court of Session â€“ Introduction, Scottish Courts, 8 March 2015, and the High Court of Justiciary, for criminal cases.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 12 September 2008, High Court of Justiciary â€“ Introduction, Scottish Courts, 9 March 2015, The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom serves as the highest court of appeal for civil cases under Scots law.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 6 December 2013, House of Lords â€“ Practice Directions on Permission to Appeal, UK Parliament, 8 March 2015, Sheriff courts deal with most civil and criminal cases including conducting criminal trials with a jury, known as sheriff solemn court, or with a sheriff and no jury, known as sheriff summary Court.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 1 September 2008, Introduction, Scottish Courts, 9 March 2015, The Scots legal system is unique in having three possible verdicts for a criminal trial: "guilty", "not guilty" and "not proven". Both "not guilty" and "not proven" result in an acquittal.JOURNAL, Samuel Bray, 2005, Not proven: introducing a third verdict, The University of Chicago Law Review, 72, 4, 1299–1329, 4495530, Crime in England and Wales increased in the period between 1981 and 1995, though since that peak there has been an overall fall of 66 per cent in recorded crime from 1995 to 2015,NEWS,weblink Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending June 2015, according to crime statistics. The prison population of England and Wales has increased to 86,000, giving England and Wales the highest rate of incarceration in Western Europe at 148 per 100,000.WEB,weblink UK prison population figures, British Government, 10 November 2015, Highest to Lowest. World Prison Brief. International Centre for Prison Studies. Her Majesty's Prison Service, which reports to the Ministry of Justice, manages most of the prisons within England and Wales. The murder rate in England and Wales has stabilised in the first half of the 2010s with a murder rate around 1 per 100,000 which is half the peak in 2002 and similar to the rate in the 1980sWEB,weblink • England & Wales: Recorded homicides 2002–2015 – UK Statistics, Statista, WEB,weblink Sexual offences at highest levels since records began but overall crimes fall – UK – News – Daily Express, Tom Batchelor,, 15 October 2015, Crime in Scotland fell slightly in 2014/2015 to its lowest level in 39 years in with 59 killings for a murder rate of 1.1 per 100,000. Scotland's prisons are overcrowded but the prison population is shrinking.NEWS,weblink Scottish homicide figures fall to another record low, BBC News, 29 September 2015,

Foreign relations

The UK is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of NATO, the Commonwealth of Nations, the G7 finance ministers, the G7 forum (previously the G8 forum), the G20, the OECD, the WTO, the Council of Europe and the OSCE. It is also a member state of the European Union in the process of withdrawal.WEB, Prime Minister's letter to Donald Tusk triggering Article 50,weblink GOV.UK, The UK is said to have a "Special Relationship" with the United States and a close partnership with France – the "Entente cordiale" – and shares nuclear weapons technology with both countries;Swaine, Jon (13 January 2009). "Barack Obama presidency will strengthen special relationship, says Gordon Brown". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 3 May 2011.Kirchner, E.J.; Sperling, J. (2007). Global Security Governance: Competing Perceptions of Security in the 21st century. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 100. {{ISBN|0-415-39162-8}} the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance is considered to be the oldest currently binding military alliance in the world. The UK is also closely linked with the Republic of Ireland; the two countries share a Common Travel Area and co-operate through the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and the British-Irish Council. Britain's global presence and influence is further amplified through its trading relations, foreign investments, official development assistance and military engagements.WEB, The Committee Office, House of Commons,weblink DFID's expenditure on development assistance, UK Parliament, 19 February 2009, 28 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 January 2013, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the most favourably viewed countries in the world by British people,WEB,weblink Sharp Drop in World Views of US, UK: Global Poll – GlobeScan, 4 July 2017, WEB,weblink From the Outside In: G20 views of the UK before and after the EU referendum', British Council, sharing a number of close diplomatic, military and cultural ties with the UK. There is considerable public and political support for increased trade, foreign policy co-operation and mobility of citizens between the UK and Canada, Australia and New Zealand under a proposal known by the acronym "CANZUK" – with 68 per cent of British people stating that they would endorse the proposition in principle.WEB,weblink CANZUK International – "National and Regional Polling Results – April 2018", WEB,weblink House of Commons: Oral Answers to Questions, 11 July 2012, Parliament of the United Kingdom,


File:HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) underway during trials with HMS Sutherland (F81) and HMS Iron Duke (F234) on 28 June 2017 (45162784).jpg|thumb|{{HMS|Queen Elizabeth|R08|6}}, a Queen Elizabeth-class supercarriersupercarrierThe armed forces of the United Kingdom – officially, Her Majesty's Armed Forces – consist of three professional service branches: the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (forming the Naval Service), the British Army and the Royal Air Force.WEB, 21 February 2012, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Defence,weblink The forces are managed by the Ministry of Defence and controlled by the Defence Council, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Commander-in-Chief is the British monarch, to whom members of the forces swear an oath of allegiance.WEB,weblink Speaker addresses Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, UK Parliament, 30 March 2012, 28 April 2013, The Armed Forces are charged with protecting the UK and its overseas territories, promoting the UK's global security interests and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. They are active and regular participants in NATO, including the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, as well as the Five Power Defence Arrangements, RIMPAC and other worldwide coalition operations. Overseas garrisons and facilities are maintained in Ascension Island, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kenya, Oman, Qatar and Singapore.WEB,weblink House of Commons Hansard, UK Parliament, 23 October 2008, WEB,weblink House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 17 Jun 2013 (pt 0002),, 4 March 2015, The British armed forces played a key role in establishing the British Empire as the dominant world power in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. By emerging victorious from conflicts, Britain has often been able to decisively influence world events. Since the end of the British Empire, the UK has remained a major military power. Following the end of the Cold War, defence policy has a stated assumption that "the most demanding operations" will be undertaken as part of a coalition.UK 2005: The Official Yearbook of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Office for National Statistics. p. 89. UK military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, have followed this approach. Setting aside the intervention in Sierra Leone in 2000, the last occasion on which the British military fought alone was the Falklands War of 1982.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}According to various sources, including the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the United Kingdom has the fourth- or fifth-highest military expenditure in the world. Total defence spending amounts to 2.0 per cent of national GDP.WEB,weblink Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2016, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 26 April 2017,



File:Banco de Inglaterra, Londres, Inglaterra, 2014-08-11, DD 141.JPG|thumb|left|The Bank of England – the central bankcentral bankThe UK has a partially regulated market economy.WEB,weblink Principles for Economic Regulation, April 2011, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 1 May 2011, Based on market exchange rates, the UK is today the fifth-largest economy in the world and the second-largest in Europe after Germany. HM Treasury, led by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance policy and economic policy. The Bank of England is the UK's central bank and is responsible for issuing notes and coins in the nation's currency, the pound sterling. Banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland retain the right to issue their own notes, subject to retaining enough Bank of England notes in reserve to cover their issue. The pound sterling is the world's third-largest reserve currency (after the US dollar and the euro).NEWS, Chavez-Dreyfuss, Gertrude,weblink Reuters, Global reserves, dollar share up at end of 2007-IMF, 1 April 2008, 21 December 2009, Since 1997 the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, headed by the Governor of the Bank of England, has been responsible for setting interest rates at the level necessary to achieve the overall inflation target for the economy that is set by the Chancellor each year.WEB,weblink" title="">weblink More About the Bank, n.d., Bank of England,weblink 12 March 2008, The UK service sector makes up around 79 per cent of GDP.WEB,weblink UK index of services: October 2017, Office for National Statistics, 22 December 2017, 15 January 2018, London is one of the three "command centres" of the global economy (alongside New York City and Tokyo),BOOK, Sassen, Saskia, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, 2001, Princeton University Press, 2nd, 978-0-691-07866-3, Saskia Sassen, it is the world's largest financial centre alongside New York,WEB,weblink Global Financial Centres 7, Z/Yen, 2010, 21 April 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 12 September 2012, dead, WEB,weblink Worldwide Centres of Commerce Index 2008, Mastercard, 5 July 2011, NEWS,weblink World's Most Economically Powerful Cities, Forbes, 15 July 2008, 3 October 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 5 May 2011, live, New York, Joshua, Zumbrun, and it has the largest city GDP in Europe.WEB,weblink Global city GDP rankings 2008–2025, PricewaterhouseCoopers, 16 November 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 28 April 2011, dead, Tourism is very important to the British economy; with over 27 million tourists arriving in 2004, the United Kingdom is ranked as the sixth major tourist destination in the world and London has the most international visitors of any city in the world.WEB,weblink 9 March 2015, UNWTO Tourism Highlights, Edition 2005, World Tourism Organisation, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 August 2007, NEWS,weblink Euromonitor International's Top City Destination Ranking, Caroline, Bremner, Euromonitor International, 10 January 2010, 31 May 2011,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2011, live, The creative industries accounted for 7 per cent GVA in 2005 and grew at an average of 6 per cent per annum between 1997 and 2005.WEB, 9 March 2007,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 4 December 2008, From the Margins to the Mainstream â€“ Government unveils new action plan for the creative industries, DCMS, 9 March 2015, The Industrial Revolution started in the UK with an initial concentration on the textile industry,WEB,weblink European Countries â€“ United Kingdom, Europa (web portal), 15 December 2010, followed by other heavy industries such as shipbuilding, coal mining and steelmaking.BOOK,weblink Industrial location: Principles, practices, and policy, 1995, Harrington, James W., Warf, Barney, 121, 978-0-415-10479-1, Routledge, London, BOOK,weblink Western Civilization: Alternative Volume: Since 1300, 2008, Spielvogel, Jackson J., 978-0-495-55528-5, Belmont, CA, Thomson Wadsworth, British merchants, shippers and bankers developed overwhelming advantage over those of other nations allowing the UK to dominate international trade in the 19th century.BOOK, Andrew, Porter, The Nineteenth Century, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume III, Oxford University Press, 1998, 978-0-19-924678-6,weblink refOHBEv3, 22 July 2009, 8, BOOK, PJ, Marshall, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire, Cambridge University Press, 1996, 978-0-521-00254-7,weblink refMarshall, 22 July 2009, 156–157, As other nations industrialised, coupled with economic decline after two world wars, the United Kingdom began to lose its competitive advantage and heavy industry declined, by degrees, throughout the 20th century. Manufacturing remains a significant part of the economy but accounted for only 16.7 per cent of national output in 2003.WEB,weblinkweblink 3 June 2007, TUC Manufacturing Conference, Hewitt, Patricia, Department of Trade and Industry, 15 July 2004, 9 March 2015, File:2017 Jaguar XE Portfolio Diesel Automatic 2.0 Front.jpg|thumb|right|Jaguar cars, including the Jaguar XEJaguar XEThe automotive industry employs around 800,000 people, with a turnover in 2015 of £70 billion, generating £34.6 billion of exports (11.8 per cent of the UK's total export goods). In 2015, the UK produced around 1.6 million passenger vehicles and 94,500 commercial vehicles. The UK is a major centre for engine manufacturing: in 2015 around 2.4 million engines were produced. The UK motorsport industry employs around 41,000 people, comprises around 4,500 companies and has an annual turnover of around £6 billion.WEB,weblink Motor Industry Facts 2016, 13 October 2016, 2016, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 October 2016, The aerospace industry of the UK is the second- or third-largest national aerospace industry in the world depending upon the method of measurement and has an annual turnover of around £30 billion.NEWS,weblink Alan, Tovey, Britain's aerospace sector soars amid fears Brexit could clip its wings, The Daily Telegraph, London, 29 June 2016, The wings for the Airbus A380 and the A350 XWB are designed and manufactured at Airbus UK's Broughton facility, whilst over a quarter of the value of the Boeing 787 comes from UK manufacturers including Eaton, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty and Rolls-Royce.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}File:British Airways A380-841 G-XLEA (16948377692).jpg|thumb|left|Engines and wings for the Airbus A380Airbus A380BAE Systems plays a critical role in some of the world's biggest defence aerospace projects. In the UK, the company makes large sections of the Typhoon Eurofighter and assembles the aircraft for the Royal Air Force. It is also a principal subcontractor on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter – the world's largest single defence project – for which it designs and manufactures a range of components. It also manufactures the Hawk, the world's most successful jet training aircraft.WEB,weblink The Aerospace industry has thousands of jobs in peril, 9 June 2011, The Times, London, 9 January 2009, Robertson, David, {{subscription required}} Airbus UK also manufactures the wings for the A400 m military transporter. Rolls-Royce is the world's second-largest aero-engine manufacturer. Its engines power more than 30 types of commercial aircraft and it has more than 30,000 engines in service in the civil and defence sectors.The UK space industry was worth £9.1bn in 2011 and employed 29,000 people. It is growing at a rate of 7.5 per cent annually, according to its umbrella organisation, the UK Space Agency. In 2013, the British Government pledged £60 m to the Skylon project: this investment will provide support at a "crucial stage" to allow a full-scale prototype of the SABRE engine to be built.The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in the UK economy and the country has the third-highest share of global pharmaceutical R&D expenditures.WEB,weblinkweblink 12 December 2012, The Pharmaceutical sector in the UK, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 9 March 2015, WEB,weblinkweblink dead, 7 January 2013, Ministerial Industry Strategy Group â€“ Pharmaceutical Industry: Competitiveness and Performance Indicators, Department of Health, 9 March 2015, Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanised and efficient by European standards, producing about 60 per cent of food needs with less than 1.6 per cent of the labour force (535,000 workers).WEB, Agriculture in the United Kingdom,weblink Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 9 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 January 2012, Around two-thirds of production is devoted to livestock, one-third to arable crops. Farmers are subsidised by the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. The UK retains a significant, though much reduced fishing industry. It is also rich in a number of natural resources including coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica and an abundance of arable land.Survey, British. "Coal | Mines & quarries | MineralsUK". weblink
. Retrieved 7 July 2015.{{multiple image| align = right| image1 = The City London.jpg| width1 = 239| alt1 = City of London is one of the world's largest International financial centre>financial centres.| image2 = London MMB »007 River Thames and Canary Wharf.jpg| width2 = 216| alt2 = | caption2 = Canary Wharf is one of the two main financial centres of the UK along with the City of London.| footer = }}In the final quarter of 2008, the UK economy officially entered recession for the first time since 1991.NEWS,weblink UK in recession as economy slides, BBC News, 23 January 2009, 23 January 2009, Following the likes of the United States, France and many major economies, in 2013, the UK lost its top AAA credit rating for the first time since 1978 with Moodys and Fitch credit agency, but, unlike the other major economies, retained its triple A rating with Standard & Poor's.NEWS, Monaghan, Angela, The AAA-rated club: which countries still make the grade?,weblink 8 June 2015, The Guardian, London, 15 October 2014, NEWS,weblink UK loses top AAA credit rating for first time since 1978, BBC News, 23 February 2013, 23 February 2013, By the end of 2014, UK growth was the fastest in both the G7 and in Europe,NEWS, Stewart, Heather, Wintour, Patrick, UK employment rate hits highest level since records began,weblink 8 June 2015, The Guardian, London, 18 February 2015, NEWS, Wholehouse, Matthew, UK has fastest-growing economy, International Monetary Fund says,weblink 24 July 2014, The Telegraph, London, 8 June 2015, and by September 2015, the unemployment rate was down to a seven-year low of 5.3 per cent.NEWS,weblink UK unemployment falls to 1.75 million, 11 November 2015, BBC News, Since the 1980s, UK economic inequality, like Canada, Australia and the United States, has grown faster than in other developed countries.NEWS, Roser, Max, Income inequality: poverty falling faster than ever but the 1 per cent are racing ahead,weblink 27 March 2015, The Guardian, 8 June 2015, Beckford, Martin (5 December 2011). "Gap between rich and poor growing fastest in Britain". The Daily Telegraph. London. The poverty line in the UK is commonly defined as being 60 per cent of the median household income.In 2007–2008, this was calculated to be £115 per week for single adults with no dependent children; £199 per week for couples with no dependent children; £195 per week for single adults with two dependent children under 14; and £279 per week for couples with two dependent children under 14. The Office for National Statistics has estimated that in 2011, 14 million people were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, and that one person in 20 (5.1 per cent) was experiencing "severe material depression",Andrews, J. (16 January 2013). "How poor is Britain now" {{webarchive|url= |date=4 February 2013 }}. Yahoo! Finance UK up from 3 million people in 1977.Glynn, S.; Booth, A. (1996). Modern Britain: An Economic and Social History. London: Routledge."Report highlights 'bleak' poverty levels in the UK", 29 March 2013 Although the UK does not have an official poverty measure, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Social Metrics Commission estimate, based on government data, that there are 14 million people in poverty in the UK.WEB, UK Poverty 2017 highlights that overall, 14 million people live in poverty in the UK – over one in five of the population,weblink JRF, 30 November 2017, WEB, Stroud, Philippa, A new measure of poverty for the UK, The final report of the Social Metrics Commission,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 22 December 2018, 1.5 million people experienced destitution in 2017.WEB, Destitution in the UK 2018,weblink JRF, 1 June 2018, In 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights visited the UK and found that government policies and cuts to social support are "entrenching high levels of poverty and inflicting unnecessary misery in one of the richest countries in the world."WEB, UN poverty expert says UK policies inflict unnecessary misery,weblink, His final 2019 report found that the UK government was doubling down on policies that have "led to the systematic immiseration of millions across Great Britain" and that sustained and widespread cuts to social support "amount to retrogressive measures in clear violation of the United Kingdom’s human rights obligations."WEB, UN expert laments UK's 'doubling down on failed anti-poor policies',weblink, File:Clarks Willis Lad school shoes.jpg|thumb|right|160px|Clarks was founded in 1825 and has since become a leader and specialist in school shoes for children.]]The UK has an external debt of $9.6 trillion dollars, which is the second-highest in the world after the US. As a percentage of GDP, external debt is 408 per cent, which is the third-highest in the world after Luxembourg and Iceland.World Development Indicators, World Bank. Retrieved 29 June 2011. Note: Used for Bermuda, Chad, Cyprus, Eritrea, Greenland, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia and Turkmenistan.Total Midyear Population {{webarchive|url= |date=12 October 2013 }}, U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base. Retrieved 29 June 2011. Note: Used for Aruba, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Cuba, North Korea, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Samoa, Somalia, Trinidad and Tobago and West Bank.The World Factbook – European Union, Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 29 June 2011.World Economic Outlook Database, April 2011, International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 29 June 2011. Note: Used for the rest of the countries.GDP (official exchange rate), The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 29 June 2011. Note: Used for the rest of the countries.

Science and technology

File:Darwin restored2.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Charles Darwin (1809–1882), whose theory of evolution by natural selection is the foundation of modern biological sciences]]England and Scotland were leading centres of the Scientific Revolution from the 17th century.Gascoin, J. "A reappraisal of the role of the universities in the Scientific Revolution", in Lindberg, David C. and Westman, Robert S., eds (1990), Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution. Cambridge University Press. p. 248. {{ISBN|0-521-34804-8}}. The United Kingdom led the Industrial Revolution from the 18th century, and has continued to produce scientists and engineers credited with important advances.Reynolds, E.E.; Brasher, N.H. (1966). Britain in the Twentieth Century, 1900–1964. Cambridge University Press. p. 336. {{oclc|474197910}} Major theorists from the 17th and 18th centuries include Isaac Newton, whose laws of motion and illumination of gravity have been seen as a keystone of modern science;Burtt, E.A. (2003) 1924.The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science. Mineola, NY: Courier Dover. p. 207. {{ISBN|0-486-42551-7}}. from the 19th century Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution by natural selection was fundamental to the development of modern biology, and James Clerk Maxwell, who formulated classical electromagnetic theory; and more recently Stephen Hawking, who has advanced major theories in the fields of cosmology, quantum gravity and the investigation of black holes.Hatt, C. (2006). Scientists and Their Discoveries. London: Evans Brothers. pp. 16, 30 and 46. {{ISBN|0-237-53195-X}}.Major scientific discoveries from the 18th century include hydrogen by Henry Cavendish;Jungnickel, C.; McCormmach, R. (1996). Cavendish. American Philosophical Society. {{ISBN|0-87169-220-1}}. from the 20th century penicillin by Alexander Fleming,WEB,weblink The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945: Sir Alexander Fleming, Ernst B. Chain, Sir Howard Florey, The Nobel Foundation,weblink" title="">weblink live, 4 June 2011, and the structure of DNA, by Francis Crick and others.Hatt, C. (2006). Scientists and Their Discoveries. London: Evans Brothers. p. 56. {{ISBN|0-237-53195-X}}. Famous British engineers and inventors of the Industrial Revolution include James Watt, George Stephenson, Richard Arkwright, Robert Stephenson and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.Wilson, Arthur (1994). The Living Rock: The Story of Metals Since Earliest Times and Their Impact on Civilization. p. 203. Woodhead Publishing. Other major engineering projects and applications by people from the UK include the steam locomotive, developed by Richard Trevithick and Andrew Vivian;James, I. (2010). Remarkable Engineers: From Riquet to Shannon. Cambridge University Press. pp. 33–36. {{ISBN|0-521-73165-8}}. from the 19th century the electric motor by Michael Faraday, the first computer designed by Charles Babbage,JOURNAL, Newman, M.H.A., General Principles of the Design of All-Purpose Computing Machines, Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, 195, 1042, 1948, 271–274, 1948RSPSA.195..271N, 10.1098/rspa.1948.0129, the first commercial electrical telegraph by William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone,Hubbard, Geoffrey (1965) Cooke and Wheatstone and the Invention of the Electric Telegraph, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London p. 78 the incandescent light bulb by Joseph Swan,Bova, Ben (2002) 1932. The Story of Light. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks. p. 238. {{ISBN|978-1-4022-0009-0}}. and the first practical telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell;JOURNAL, Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922), Nature, 159, 4035, 297,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 11 October 2010, dead, 1947Natur.159Q.297., 1947, 10.1038/159297a0, and in the 20th century the world's first working television system by John Logie Baird and others,WEB, John Logie Baird (1888–1946), BBC History,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink live, 4 June 2011, the jet engine by Frank Whittle, the basis of the modern computer by Alan Turing, and the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.Cole, Jeffrey (2011). Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 121. {{ISBN|1-59884-302-8}}.Scientific research and development remains important in British universities, with many establishing science parks to facilitate production and co-operation with industry.Castells, M.; Hall, P.; Hall, P.G. (2004). Technopoles of the World: the Making of Twenty-First-Century Industrial Complexes. London: Routledge. pp. 98–100. {{ISBN|0-415-10015-1}}. Between 2004 and 2008 the UK produced 7 per cent of the world's scientific research papers and had an 8 per cent share of scientific citations, the third and second-highest in the world (after the United States and China, respectively).WEB, Knowledge, networks and nations: scientific collaborations in the twenty-first century, Royal Society, 2011,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink live, 3 June 2011, Scientific journals produced in the UK include Nature, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet.JOURNAL, McCook, Alison, Is peer review broken?, The Scientist, 20, 2, 26, 2006,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 16 August 2011, 22 June 2011,


File:Heathrow T5.jpg|thumb|Heathrow Terminal 5 building. London Heathrow Airport is one of the (world's busiest airports by international passenger traffic|busiest airports by international passenger traffic]] worldwide.NEWS,weblink Heathrow 'needs a third runway', BBC News, 17 October 2008, 25 June 2008, PRESS RELEASE,weblink Statistics: Top 30 World airports, Airports Council International, July 2008, 15 October 2008, )A radial road network totals {{convert|29145|mi|km}} of main roads, {{convert|2173|mi|km}} of motorways and {{convert|213750|mi|km}} of paved roads. The M25, encircling London, is the largest and busiest bypass in the world.BOOK, Reading the Everyday, Joe, Moran, Routledge, 95, 978-1-134-37216-4, 16 November 2005, In 2009 there were a total of 34 million licensed vehicles in Great Britain.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 December 2010, dead, Transport Statistics Great Britain: 2010, Department for Transport, File:St Pancras Railway Station 2012-06-23.jpg|thumb|London St Pancras International is the UK's 13th busiest railway terminus. The station is one of London's main domestic and international transport hubs providing both commuter rail and high-speed rail services across the UK and to Paris, Lille and BrusselsBrusselsThe UK has a railway network of {{convert|10072|mi|0|abbr=out}} in Great Britain and {{convert|189|mi|0|abbr=out}} in Northern Ireland. Railways in Northern Ireland are operated by NI Railways, a subsidiary of state-owned Translink. In Great Britain, the British Rail network was privatised between 1994 and 1997, which was followed by a rapid rise in passenger numbers following years of decline, although the factors behind this are disputed. The UK was ranked eighth among national European rail systems in the 2017 European Railway Performance Index assessing intensity of use, quality of service and safety.WEB,weblink The 2017 European Railway Performance Index, 18 April 2017, Sylvain Duranton, Agnès Audier, Joël Hazan, Mads Peter Langhorn, Vincent Gauche, Boston Consulting Group, Network Rail owns and manages most of the fixed assets (tracks, signals etc.). About 20 privately owned Train Operating Companies operate passenger trains, which carried 1.68 billion passengers in 2015.WEB,weblink Passenger Rail Usage 2015–16 Q3 Statistical Release, 1, NEWS,weblink Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services, The Independent, 30 December 2015, 30 November 2014, There are also some 1,000 freight trains in daily operation.{{When|date=November 2015}} The British Government is to spend £30 billion on a new high-speed railway line, HS2, to be operational by 2026.NEWS,weblink High-speed rail's long journey, BBC News, 17 March 2014, Crossrail, under construction in London, is Europe's largest construction project with a £15 billion projected cost.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Crossrail's giant tunnelling machines unveiled, 2 January 2012, NEWS,weblink The Independent on Sunday, London, Crossrail delayed to save £1bn, 29 August 2010, Mark, Leftly, In the year from October 2009 to September 2010 UK airports handled a total of 211.4 million passengers.WEB,weblink Size of Reporting Airports October 2009 â€“ September 2010, 5 December 2010, Civil Aviation Authority, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 May 2012, In that period the three largest airports were London Heathrow Airport (65.6 million passengers), Gatwick Airport (31.5 million passengers) and London Stansted Airport (18.9 million passengers). London Heathrow Airport, located {{convert|15|mi|km|}} west of the capital, has the most international passenger traffic of any airport in the world and is the hub for the UK flag carrier British Airways, as well as Virgin Atlantic.NEWS, BMI being taken over by Lufthansa,weblink 23 December 2009, BBC News, 29 October 2008,


File:Oil platform in the North SeaPros.jpg|thumb|right|An oil platform in the North SeaNorth SeaIn 2006, the UK was the world's ninth-largest consumer of energy and the 15th-largest producer.WEB,weblink United Kingdom Energy Profile, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 4 November 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 2 January 2009, dead, The UK is home to a number of large energy companies, including two of the six oil and gas "supermajors" – BP and Royal Dutch Shell.NEWS,weblink Let the battle begin over black gold, 26 November 2010, The Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2009, London, Rowena, Mason, NEWS,weblink RBA Says Currency Containing Prices, Rate Level 'Appropriate' in Near Term, 26 November 2010, Bloomberg, New York, 26 November 2010, Michael, Heath, In 2011, 40 per cent of the UK's electricity was produced by gas, 30 per cent by coal, 19 per cent by nuclear power and 4.2 per cent by wind, hydro, biofuels and wastes.WEB,weblink Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom, World Nuclear Association, 9 April 2013, April 2013, In 2013, the UK produced 914 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil and consumed 1,507 thousand bbl/d.WEB,weblink Total Petroleum and Other Liquids Production, 2013, WEB,weblink United Kingdom Crude Oil Consumption by Year, Production is now in decline and the UK has been a net importer of oil since 2005.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 12 August 2011, United Kingdom â€“ Oil, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9 March 2015, {{As of|2010|alt=In 2010}} the UK had around 3.1 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, the largest of any EU member state.In 2009, the UK was the 13th-largest producer of natural gas in the world and the largest producer in the EU.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 April 2011, United Kingdom â€“ Natural Gas, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9 March 2011, Production is now in decline and the UK has been a net importer of natural gas since 2004.Coal production played a key role in the UK economy in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the mid-1970s, 130 million tonnes of coal were produced annually, not falling below 100 million tonnes until the early 1980s. During the 1980s and 1990s the industry was scaled back considerably. In 2011, the UK produced 18.3 million tonnes of coal.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 12 August 2011, United Kingdom â€“ Quick Facts Energy Overview, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9 March 2015, In 2005 it had proven recoverable coal reserves of 171 million tons. The UK Coal Authority has stated there is a potential to produce between 7 billion tonnes and 16 billion tonnes of coal through underground coal gasification (UCG) or 'fracking',WEB, Coal Reserves in the United Kingdom, The Coal Authority,weblink860AD/Response%20to%20Energy%20Review%20-%20Appendix%202.pdf,, 4 January 2009, 5 July 2011, The Coal Authority, 10 April 2006, and that, based on current UK coal consumption, such reserves could last between 200 and 400 years.NEWS, England Expert predicts 'coal revolution',, 23 September 2008, BBC News, 16 October 2007, Environmental and social concerns have been raised over chemicals getting into the water table and minor earthquakes damaging homes.NEWS, Watts, Susan,weblink Fracking: Concerns over gas extraction regulations, BBC News, 20 March 2012, 9 April 2013, WEB,weblink Quit fracking aboot, Friends of the Earth Scotland, 9 April 2013, In the late 1990s, nuclear power plants contributed around 25 per cent of total annual electricity generation in the UK, but this has gradually declined as old plants have been shut down and ageing-related problems affect plant availability. In 2012, the UK had 16 reactors normally generating about 19 per cent of its electricity. All but one of the reactors will be retired by 2023. Unlike Germany and Japan, the UK intends to build a new generation of nuclear plants from about 2018.The total of all renewable electricity sources provided for 14.9 per cent of the electricity generated in the United Kingdom in 2013,WEB,weblink Department of Energy and Climate Change: Annual tables: 'Digest of UK energy statistics' (DUKES) – Chapter 6: Renewable Sources of energy, 13 April 2015, reaching 53.7 TWh of electricity generated. The UK is one of the best sites in Europe for wind energy, and wind power production is its fastest growing supply, in 2014 it generated 9.3 per cent of the UK's total electricity.WEB,weblink UK Renewable Energy Roadmap Crown copyright, July 2011, WEB,weblink Climate Change – Wind Power, BBC – Weather Centre, 9 June 2015, WEB,weblink RenewableUK News – Electricity needs of more than a quarter of UK homes powered by wind in 2014, RenewableUK,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 May 2015,

Water supply and sanitation

Access to improved water supply and sanitation in the UK is universal. It is estimated that 96.7 per cent of households are connected to the sewer network.WEB,weblink WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme: 404 error, {{dead link|date=January 2018 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} According to the Environment Agency, total water abstraction for public water supply in the UK was 16,406 megalitres per day in 2007.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 25 November 2009, Environment Agency, Drinking water standards and wastewater discharge standards in the UK, as in other countries of the European Union, are determined by the EU (see Water supply and sanitation in the European Union).{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}In England and Wales water and sewerage services are provided by 10 private regional water and sewerage companies and 13 mostly smaller private "water only" companies. In Scotland water and sewerage services are provided by a single public company, Scottish Water. In Northern Ireland water and sewerage services are also provided by a single public entity, Northern Ireland Water.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}


(File:Population density UK 2011 census.png|thumb|Map of population density in the UK as at the 2011 census)A census is taken simultaneously in all parts of the UK every ten years.WEB,weblink" title="">weblinkweblink Census Geography, Office for National Statistics, 4 June 2011, 30 October 2007, 14 April 2012, dead, In the 2011 census the total population of the United Kingdom was 63,181,775.WEB,weblink 2011 Census: Population Estimates for the United Kingdom, Office for National Statistics, 27 March 2011, 18 December 2012, It is the third-largest in the European Union, the fifth-largest in the Commonwealth and the 22nd-largest in the world. In mid-2014 and mid-2015 net long-term international migration contributed more to population growth. In mid-2012 and mid-2013 natural change contributed the most to population growth.WEB,weblink Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2015, Office for National Statistics, 23 June 2016, Between 2001 and 2011 the population increased by an average annual rate of approximately 0.7 per cent. This compares to 0.3 per cent per year in the period 1991 to 2001 and 0.2 per cent in the decade 1981 to 1991.WEB,weblink Annual Mid-year Population Estimates, 2010, Office for National Statistics, 2011, 14 April 2012, The 2011 census also confirmed that the proportion of the population aged 0–14 has nearly halved (31 per cent in 1911 compared to 18 in 2011) and the proportion of older people aged 65 and over has more than tripled (from 5 per cent to 16 per cent).England's population in 2011 was 53 million.WEB,weblink 2011 UK censuses, Office for National Statistics, 18 December 2012, It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with 420 people resident per square kilometre in mid-2015. with a particular concentration in London and the south-east.NEWS, England is most crowded country in Europe,weblink The Daily Telegraph, 5 September 2009, London, Urmee, Khan, 16 September 2008, The 2011 census put Scotland's population at 5.3 million,WEB, Scotland's population at record high,weblink The Guardian, Carrell, Severin, 18 December 2012, London, 17 December 2012, Wales at 3.06 million and Northern Ireland at 1.81 million.In 2017 the average total fertility rate (TFR) across the UK was 1.74 children born per woman.WEB, Vital statistics: population and health reference tables,weblink Office for National Statistics, 6 March 2018, While a rising birth rate is contributing to current population growth, it remains considerably below the baby boom peak of 2.95 children per woman in 1964,NEWS,weblink The question: What's behind the baby boom?, Boseley, Sarah, 14 July 2008, The Guardian, 3, 28 August 2009, London, or the high of 6.02 children born per woman in 1815,{{citation|url=|title=Total Fertility Rate around the world over the last centuries|author=Max Roser|date=2014|work=Our World In Data, Gapminder Foundation}} below the replacement rate of 2.1, but higher than the 2001 record low of 1.63.WEB,weblink Vital Statistics: Population and Health Reference Tables (February 2014 Update): Annual Time Series Data, Office for National Statistics, ONS, 27 April 2014, In 2011, 47.3 per cent of births in the UK were to unmarried women.Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table. Eurostat (26 February 2013). Retrieved 12 July 2013. The Office for National Statistics published a bulletin in 2015 showing that, out of the UK population aged 16 and over, 1.7 per cent identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (2.0 per cent of males and 1.5 per cent of females); 4.5 per cent of respondents responded with "other", "I don't know", or did not respond.WEB,weblink Office for National Statistics, Sexual identity, UK: 2015 – Experimental Official Statistics on sexual identity in the UK in 2015 by region, sex, age, marital status, ethnicity and NS-SEC, 5 October 2016, 19 January 2017, In 2018 the median age of the UK population was 41.7 years.{{citation|url=|title=World Factbook EUROPE : United Kingdom|work=The World Factbook|date=12 July 2018}}{{Largest Urban Areas of the United Kingdom}}{{Clear}}

Ethnic groups

(File:Non-white in the 2011 census.png|thumb|Map showing the percentage of the population who are not white according to the 2011 census)Historically, indigenous British people were thought to be descended from the various ethnic groups that settled there before the 12th century: the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Norse and the Normans. Welsh people could be the oldest ethnic group in the UK.NEWS,weblink Welsh people could be most ancient in UK, DNA suggests, BBC News, 19 June 2012, 28 April 2013, A 2006 genetic study shows that more than 50 per cent of England's gene pool contains Germanic Y chromosomes.JOURNAL, Thomas, Mark G., etal, Evidence for a segregated social structure in early Anglo-Saxon England, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 273, 1601, 2651–2657, 1635457, 17002951, 10.1098/rspb.2006.3627, October 2006, Another 2005 genetic analysis indicates that "about 75 per cent of the traceable ancestors of the modern British population had arrived in the British isles by about 6,200 years ago, at the start of the British Neolithic or Stone Age", and that the British broadly share a common ancestry with the Basque people.Owen, James (19 July 2005). "Review of 'The Tribes of Britain'". National Geographic (Washington DC).Oppenheimer, Stephen (October 2006).WEB,weblink Myths of British ancestry, 16 May 2009, unfit,weblink" title="">weblink 26 September 2006, . Prospect (London). Retrieved 5 November 2010.NEWS,weblink Scientist â€“ Griffin hijacked my work to make race claim about 'British aborigines', Henderson, Mark, 23 October 2009, The Times, 26 October 2009, London, {{subscription required}}The UK has a history of small-scale non-white immigration, with Liverpool having the oldest Black population in the country dating back to at least the 1730s during the period of the African slave trade. During this period it is estimated the Afro-Caribbean population of Great Britain was 10,000 to 15,000WEB,weblink Victoria and Albert Museum Black Presence, 13 January 2011, which later declined due to the abolition of slavery.BOOK,weblink Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain, 2010, 978-0-7481-2396-4, Winder, Robert, BOOK, Costello, Ray, Black Liverpool: The Early History of Britain's Oldest Black Community 1730–1918, Picton Press, Liverpool, 2001, 978-1-873245-07-1, The UK also has the oldest Chinese community in Europe, dating to the arrival of Chinese seamen in the 19th century.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 24 July 2009, Culture and Ethnicity Differences in Liverpool â€“ Chinese Community, Chambré Hardman Trust, 9 March 2015, In 1950 there were probably fewer than 20,000 non-white residents in Britain, almost all born overseas.Coleman, David; Compton, Paul; Salt, John (2002). "The demographic characteristics of immigrant populations", Council of Europe, p. 505. {{ISBN|92-871-4974-7}}. In 1951 there were an estimated 94,500 people living in Britain who had been born in South Asia, China, Africa and the Caribbean, just under 0.2 per cent of the UK population. By 1961 this number had more than quadrupled to 384,000, just over 0.7 per cent of the United Kingdom population.WEB,weblink Britain's visible minorities: a demographic overview, Roger Ballard Centre for Applied South Asian Studies, Since 1948 substantial immigration from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia has been a legacy of ties forged by the British Empire.NEWS,weblink Short History of Immigration, BBC News, 18 March 2015, Migration from new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe since 2004 has resulted in growth in these population groups, although some of this migration has been temporary.WEB,weblink Migration Flows of A8 and other EU Migrants to and from the UK, Carlos, Vargas-Silva, Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 10 April 2014, 18 March 2015, Since the 1990s, there has been substantial diversification of the immigrant population, with migrants to the UK coming from a much wider range of countries than previous waves, which tended to involve larger numbers of migrants coming from a relatively small number of countries.JOURNAL, Super-diversity and its implications, Steven, Vertovec, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2007, 30, 6, 1024–1054, 10.1080/01419870701599465,weblink NEWS,weblink Opinion: Super-diversity revealed, Steven, Vertovec, BBC News, 20 September 2005, 8 March 2015, JOURNAL, Answer Formats in British Census and Survey Ethnicity Questions: Does Open Response Better Capture 'Superdiversity'?, Peter J, Aspinall, Sociology, 46, 2, 2012, 354–364, 10.1177/0038038511419195, {|class="wikitable" style="{{float right}} text-align:right; font-size:85%;"! colspan="2" rowspan="2" | Ethnic group! colspan="2" | Population (absolute)!| Population (per cent)! 2001NEWS,weblink Population size: 7.9 per cent from a non-White ethnic group, Office for National Statistics, 8 January 2004,weblink" title="">weblink 19 June 2004, ! 2011! 2011WEB,weblink 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in the United Kingdom, Office for National Statistics, 11 October 2013, 6 March 2015, White 54,153,898(92.14%| 55,010,359(87.1%)|{{0}}87.1 % White: Gypsy / Traveller /Irish Traveller{{refngroup=note}} – 63,193 {{0}}{{0}}0.1 % Asian /Asian British style="text-align:left" | {{0}}{{0}}2.3 % Pakistani 747,285 1,174,983 {{0}}{{0}}1.9 % Bangladeshi 283,063 451,529 {{0}}{{0}}0.7 % Chinese 247,403 433,150 {{0}}{{0}}0.7 % other Asian 247,664 861,815 {{0}}{{0}}1.4 % Black / African / Caribbean /Black British 1,148,738  1,904,684{{refnPUBLISHER=NATIONAL RECORDS OF SCOTLAND ACCESSDATE=28 APRIL 2015, in this "Black or Black British" category. The ONS note that "the African categories used in Scotland could potentially capture White/Asian/Other African in addition to Black identities".HTTP://ONS.GOV.UK/ONS/GUIDE-METHOD/MEASURING-EQUALITY/EQUALITY/ETHNIC-NAT-IDENTITY-RELIGION/ETHNIC-GROUP/INDEX.HTML >TITLE=ETHNIC GROUP ACCESSDATE=27 APRIL 2015group=note}} {{0}}{{0}}3.0 %  mixed / multiple ethnic groups 677,117 1,250,229 {{0}}{{0}}2.0 % other ethnic group 230,615 580,374 {{0}}{{0}}0.9 % Total 58,789,194 63,182,178 100.0 %Academics have argued that the ethnicity categories employed in British national statistics, which were first introduced in the 1991 census, involve confusion between the concepts of ethnicity and race.JOURNAL, Negotiating race and ethnicity: Exploring the implications of the 1991 census, Roger, Ballard, Patterns of Prejudice, 30, 3, 1996, 3–33, 10.1080/0031322X.1996.9970192,weblink BOOK, Census and Identity: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Language in National Censuses, Censuses, identity formation, and the struggle for political power, 2002, David I., Kertzer, Dominique, Arel, David I., Kertzer, Dominique, Arel, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1–42, {{As of|2011|alt=In 2011}}, 87.2 per cent of the UK population identified themselves as white, meaning 12.8 per cent of the UK population identify themselves as of one of number of ethnic minority groups. In the 2001 census, this figure was 7.9 per cent of the UK population.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Population Size: 7.9 per cent from a minority ethnic group, Office for National Statistics, 13 February 2003, 31 July 2003, 7 March 2015, Because of differences in the wording of the census forms used in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, data on the Other White group is not available for the UK as a whole, but in England and Wales this was the fastest growing group between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, increasing by 1.1 million (1.8 percentage points).WEB,weblink Ethnicity and National Identity in England and Wales 2011, Office for National Statistics, 11 December 2012, 23 April 2015, Amongst groups for which comparable data is available for all parts of the UK level, the Other Asian category increased from 0.4 per cent to 1.4 per cent of the population between 2001 and 2011, while the Mixed category rose from 1.2 per cent to 2 per cent.Ethnic diversity varies significantly across the UK. 30.4 per centof London's population and 37.4 per cent of Leicester's was estimated to be non-white {{as of|lc=y|2005|06|alt=in 2005}},WEB,weblink Resident population estimates by ethnic group (percentages): London, Office for National Statistics, 23 April 2008, WEB,weblink Resident population estimates by ethnic group (percentages): Leicester, Office for National Statistics, 23 April 2008, whereas less than 5 per cent of the populations of North East England, Wales and the South West were from ethnic minorities, according to the 2001 census.WEB,weblink Census 2001 â€“ Ethnicity and religion in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics, 23 April 2008, {{As of|2016|alt=In 2016}}, 31.4 per cent of primary and 27.9 per cent of secondary pupils at state schools in England were members of an ethnic minority.REPORT, Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2016, SFR 20/2016,weblink PDF, Department for Education, 8, 28 June 2016, The 1991 census was the first UK census to have a question on ethnic group. In the 1991 UK census 94.1 per cent of people reported themselves as being White British, White Irish or White Other with 5.9 per cent of people reporting themselves as coming from other minority groups.JOURNAL,weblink Britain's amazing technicolour dreamcoat, The Economist, M.S, 11 December 2012,


File:Anglospeak.png|thumb|upright=1.8|The English-speaking world. States and territories in dark blue have a majority of native English or English Creole speakers, while those where English is an official but not a majority language are shaded in light blue. English is also one of the official languages of the European UnionWEB,weblink Official EU languages, 8 May 2009, European Commission, 16 October 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 February 2009, and the United Nations.WEB,weblink Language Courses in New York, 2006, United Nations, 29 November 2010, ]]The UK's de facto official language is English.WEB,weblinkweblink dead, 15 October 2012, English language â€“ Government, citizens and rights, Directgov, 23 August 2011, WEB,weblink Commonwealth Secretariat â€“ UK, Commonwealth Secretariat, 23 August 2011, It is estimated that 95 per cent of the UK's population are monolingual English speakers.WEB,weblink Languages across Europe: United Kingdom, BBC, 4 February 2013, 5.5 per cent of the population are estimated to speak languages brought to the UK as a result of relatively recent immigration. South Asian languages, including Punjabi, Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati, are the largest grouping and are spoken by 2.7 per cent of the UK population. According to the 2011 census, Polish has become the second-largest language spoken in England and has 546,000 speakers.NEWS, Polish becomes England's second language,weblink The Guardian, 30 January 2013, 4 February 2012, London, Robert, Booth, In 2019, some three quarters of a million people spoke little or no English.NEWS, BBC News, 23 April 2019, The teenagers who translate for their parents,weblink 23 April 2019, Four indigenous Celtic languages are spoken in the UK: Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic and, as a second language only,BOOK, Language and Linguistics: The Key Concepts, Track, Robert Lawrence, Stockwell, Peter, 2007, 9780415413589, 63,weblink 4 August 2019, Cornish. All are recognised as regional or minority languages, by the European Union, under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.WEB, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Strasbourg, 1.II.1995,weblink Council of Europe, 9 March 2015, WEB, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Strasbourg, 5.XI.1992,weblink Council of Europe, 9 March 2015, As it is an EU member state, this therefore obliges the UK government to provide them specific measures of protection and promotion. In the 2001 Census over one-fifth (21 per cent) of the population of Wales said they could speak Welsh,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 28 July 2011, National Statistics Online, Welsh Language, 9 March 2015, an increase from the 1991 Census (18 per cent).WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 10 September 2009, dead, Differences in estimates of Welsh Language Skills, 30 December 2008, Office for National Statistics, In addition it is estimated that about 200,000 Welsh speakers live in England.WEB,weblink Welsh today, Wynn Thomas, Peter, BBC, Voices, March 2007, 5 July 2011, In the same census in Northern Ireland 167,487 people (10.4 per cent) stated that they had "some knowledge of Irish" (see Irish language in Northern Ireland), almost exclusively in the nationalist (mainly Catholic) population. Over 92,000 people in Scotland (just under 2 per cent of the population) had some Gaelic language ability, including 72 per cent of those living in the Outer Hebrides.WEB,weblink Scotland's Census 2001 â€“ Gaelic Report, General Register Office for Scotland, 28 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 May 2013, The number of schoolchildren being taught through Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish is increasing.NEWS,weblink Local UK languages 'taking off', BBC News, 12 February 2009, Among emigrant-descended populations some Scottish Gaelic is still spoken in Canada (principally Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island),BOOK, Edwards, John R., Minority languages and group identity: cases and categories,weblink 12 March 2011, 2010, John Benjamins, 978-90-272-1866-7, 150–158, and Welsh in Patagonia, Argentina.BOOK, Koch, John T., Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia,weblink 2006, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-85109-440-0, 696, Scots, a language descended from early northern Middle English, has limited recognition alongside its regional variant, Ulster Scots in Northern Ireland, without specific commitments to protection and promotion.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2007, Language Data â€“ Scots, European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages, 2 November 2008, It is compulsory for pupils to study a second language up to the age of 14 in England.NEWS,weblink Fall in compulsory language lessons, BBC News, 4 November 2004, French and German are the two most commonly taught second languages in England and Scotland. All pupils in Wales are taught Welsh as a second language up to age 16, or are taught in Welsh.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2014, The School Gate for parents in Wales, BBC, 9 March 2015,


File:West Side of Westminster Abbey, London - - 1406999.jpg|thumb|upright|left|Westminster Abbey is used for the coronation of British monarchs.]]Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over 1400 years.Cannon, John, ed. (2nd edn., 2009). A Dictionary of British History. Oxford University Press. p. 144. {{ISBN|0-19-955037-9}}. Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century,Field, Clive D. (November 2009). "British religion in numbers". BRIN Discussion Series on Religious Statistics, Discussion Paper 001. Retrieved 7 March 2015. while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths, most notably Islam.Yilmaz, Ihsan (2005). Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal Pluralisms in England, Turkey, and Pakistan. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 55–56. {{ISBN|0-7546-4389-1}}. This has led some commentators to variously describe the UK as a multi-faith,Brown, Callum G. (2006). Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain. Harlow: Pearson Education. p. 291. {{ISBN|0-582-47289-X}}. secularised,Norris, Pippa; Inglehart, Ronald (2004). Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. Cambridge University Press. p. 84. {{ISBN|0-521-83984-X}}. or post-Christian society.Fergusson, David (2004). Church, State and Civil Society. Cambridge University Press. p. 94. {{ISBN|0-521-52959-X}}.In the 2001 census 71.6 per cent of all respondents indicated that they were Christians, with the next largest faiths being Islam (2.8 per cent), Hinduism (1.0 per cent), Sikhism (0.6 per cent), Judaism (0.5 per cent), Buddhism (0.3 per cent) and all other religions (0.3 per cent).WEB,weblink UK Census 2001, National Office for Statistics, 22 April 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 12 March 2007, 15 per cent of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7 per cent not stating a religious preference.WEB, Religious Populations, Office for National Statistics, 11 October 2004,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2011, dead, A Tearfund survey in 2007 showed only one in ten Britons actually attend church weekly.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 13 December 2011, United Kingdom: New Report Finds Only One in 10 Attend Church,, 4 April 2007, 9 March 2015, Between the 2001 and 2011 census there was a decrease in the number of people who identified as Christian by 12 per cent, whilst the percentage of those reporting no religious affiliation doubled. This contrasted with growth in the other main religious group categories, with the number of Muslims increasing by the most substantial margin to a total of about 5 per cent. The Muslim population has increased from 1.6 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2011,"British Census: Islam Fastest-Growing Faith in England; Christians Drop to 59 per cent of Population". CNS News. 12 December 2012. making it the second-largest religious group in the United Kingdom.WEB,weblink The percentage of the population with no religion has increased in England and Wales, 4 April 2013, Office for National Statistics, File:Neasden Temple - Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir - Gate.jpg|thumb|BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, United Kingdom is the largest Hindu templeHindu templeIn a 2016 survey conducted by BSA (British Social Attitudes) on religious affiliation; 53 per cent of respondents indicated 'no religion', while 41 per cent indicated they were Christians, followed by 6 per cent who affiliated with other religions (e.g. Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.).WEB,weblink British Social Attitudes: Record number of Brits with no religion, 5 September 2017, Among Christians, adherents to the Church of England constituted 15 per cent, Roman Catholic Church 9 per cent, and other Christians (including Presbyterians, Methodists, other Protestants, as well as Eastern Orthodox), 17 per cent. 71 per cent of young people aged 18––24 said they had no religion.The Church of England is the established church in England.The History of the Church of England. The Church of England. Retrieved 23 November 2008. It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor.WEB,weblink Queen and Church of England, British Monarchy Media Centre, 5 June 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 8 October 2006, In Scotland, the Church of Scotland is recognised as the national church. It is not subject to state control, and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession.WEB, Queen and the Church, The British Monarchy (Official Website),weblinkweblink" title="">weblink live, 5 June 2011, WEB, How we are organised, Church of Scotland,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink live, 10 June 2011, The Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and, as the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1870 before the partition of Ireland, there is no established church in Northern Ireland.Weller, Paul (2005). Time for a Change: Reconfiguring Religion, State, and Society. London: Continuum. pp. 79–80. {{ISBN|0-567-08487-6}}. Although there are no UK-wide data in the 2001 census on adherence to individual Christian denominations, it has been estimated that 62 per cent of Christians are Anglican, 13.5 per cent Catholic, 6 per cent Presbyterian, and 3.4 per cent Methodist, with small numbers of other Protestant denominations such as Plymouth Brethren, and Orthodox churches.Peach, Ceri, "United Kingdom, a major transformation of the religious landscape", in H. Knippenberg. ed. (2005). The Changing Religious Landscape of Europe. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis. pp. 44–58. {{ISBN|90-5589-248-3}}.


{{See also|Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom}}(File:United Kingdom foreign born population by country of birth.png|thumb|upright=1.35|Estimated foreign-born population by country of birth from April 2007 to March 2008)The United Kingdom has experienced successive waves of migration. The Great Famine in Ireland, then part of the United Kingdom, resulted in perhaps a million people migrating to Great Britain.Richards, Eric (2004). Britannia's children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600. London: Hambledon, p. 143. {{ISBN|978-1-85285-441-6}}. Throughout the 19th century a small population of German immigrants built up, numbering 28,644 in England and Wales in 1861. London held around half of this population, and other small communities existed in Manchester, Bradford and elsewhere. The German immigrant community was the largest group until 1891, when it became second to Russian Jews.BOOK, P. Panayi, 'German Immigrants in Britain, 1815–1914' in Germans in Britain since 1500, ed P. Panayi, (London: Hambledon Press, 1996), P. Panayi, 1906, 978-0-8264-2038-1, 73–112,weblink England has had small Jewish communities for many centuries, subject to occasional expulsions, but British Jews numbered fewer than 10,000 at the start of the 19th century. After 1881, Russian Jews suffered bitter persecutions and some had 2,000,000 left Russia (which included parts of modern-day Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine) by 1914. Around 120,000 settled permanently in Britain, becoming the largest ethnic minority from outside the British Isles;BOOK,weblink Germans in Britain Since 1500, 1996, 978-0-8264-2038-1, Panayi, Panikos, WEB,weblink East End Jews, BBC, this population had increased to 370,000 by 1938.BOOK, Jews in Britain: Origin and Growth of Anglo-Jewry, 7, WEB,weblink A summary history of immigration to Britain, Migrationwatch UK, WEB,weblink The Jews, Victoria County History, London, 1969., British History Online, Unable to return to Poland at the end of the Second World War, over 120,000 Polish veterans remained in the UK permanently.Gibney, Matthew J.; Hansen, Randall (2005). Immigration and asylum: from 1900 to the present, ABC-CLIO, p. 630. {{ISBN|1-57607-796-9}} After the Second World War, there was significant immigration from the colonies and newly independent former colonies, many from the Caribbean and Indian subcontinent, partly as a legacy of empire and partly driven by labour shortages.NEWS,weblink Short history of immigration, BBC, 2005, 28 August 2010, In 1841, 0.25 per cent of the population of England and Wales was born in a foreign country, increasing to 1.5 per cent by 1901,WEB,weblink A summary history of immigration to Britain, 2.6 per cent by 1931, and 4.4 per cent in 1951.WEB,weblink Immigration, Population and Ethnicity: The UK in International Perspective, David, Coleman, 17 April 2013, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 8 March 2015, In 2014 the net increase was 318,000: immigration was 641,000, up from 526,000 in 2013, while the number of people emigrating (for more than 12 months) was 323,000.WEB,weblink Migration Statistics Quarterly Report May 2015, 21 May 2015, Office for National Statistics, One of the more recent trends in migration has been the arrival of workers from the new EU member states in Eastern Europe, known as the A8 countries. Citizens of the European Union, including those of the UK, have the right to live and work in any EU member state.WEB,weblink Right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, European Commission, 28 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2012, The UK applied temporary restrictions to citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in January 2007.NEWS,weblink Home Office shuts the door on Bulgaria and Romania, Doward, Jamie, Temko, Ned, 23 September 2007, The Observer, 2, 23 August 2008, London, Research conducted by the Migration Policy Institute for the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggests that, between May 2004 and September 2009, 1.5 million workers migrated from the new EU member states to the UK, two-thirds of them Polish, but that many subsequently returned home, resulting in a net increase in the number of nationals of the new member states in the UK of some 700,000 over that period.BOOK,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 7 December 2013, The UK's new Europeans: Progress and challenges five years after accession, Sumption, Madeleine, Somerville, Will, January 2010, Policy Report, Equality and Human Rights Commission, London, 13, 9 March 2015, 978-1-84206-252-4, NEWS,weblink Young, self-reliant, educated: portrait of UK's eastern European migrants, Doward, Jamie, Rogers, Sam, 17 January 2010, The Observer, 19 January 2010, London, The late-2000s recession in the UK reduced the economic incentive for Poles to migrate to the UK,NEWS,weblink Packing up for home: Poles hit by UK's economic downturn, Elizabeth, Hopkirk, London Evening Standard, 20 October 2008, the migration becoming temporary and circular.NEWS,weblink Migrants to UK 'returning home', 8 September 2009, BBC News, 8 September 2009, In 2009, for the first time since enlargement, more nationals of the eight central and eastern European states that had joined the EU in 2004 left the UK than arrived.NEWS, UK sees shift in migration trend,weblink 28 May 2010, 27 May 2010, BBC News, In 2011, citizens of the new EU member states made up 13 per cent of the immigrants entering the country.WEB,weblink Migration Statistics Quarterly Report May 2012, 24 May 2012, Office for National Statistics, In 2010, there were 7.0 million foreign-born residents in the UK, corresponding to 11.3 per cent of the total population. Of these, 4.76 million (7.7 per cent) were born outside the EU and 2.24 million (3.6 per cent) were born in another EU Member State.WEB,weblink 6.5 per cent of the EU population are foreigners and 9.4 per cent are born abroad, Eurostat, Katya, Vasileva, Statistics in Focus, 34/2011, 2011, 8 March 2015, The proportion of foreign-born people in the UK remains slightly below that of many other European countries.WEB,weblink Europe: Population and Migration in 2005, Rainer, Muenz, Migration Policy Institute, June 2006, 2 April 2007, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 9 June 2008, Immigration is now contributing to a rising populationNEWS,weblink Immigration and births to non-British mothers pushes British population to record high, London Evening Standard, 21 August 2008, with arrivals and UK-born children of migrants accounting for about half of the population increase between 1991 and 2001. Over a quarter (27.0 per cent) of live births in 2014 were to mothers born outside the UK, according to official statistics released in 2015.WEB,weblink Birth Summary Tables, England and Wales, 2014, Office for National Statistics, 15 July 2015, Analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that a net total of 2.3 million migrants moved to the UK in the 15 years from 1991 to 2006.NEWS,weblink Tories call for tougher control of immigration, London Evening Standard, 20 October 2008, Martin, Bentham, The ONS reported that net migration rose from 2009 to 2010 by 21 per cent to 239,000.NEWS,weblink UK net migration rises 21 per cent, 25 August 2011, London, The Guardian, Alan, Travis, In 2013, approximately 208,000 foreign nationals were naturalised as British citizens, the highest number since records began in 1962. This figure fell to around 125,800 in 2014. Between 2009 and 2013, the average number of people granted British citizenship per year was 195,800. The main countries of previous nationality of those naturalised in 2014 were India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, South Africa, Poland and Somalia.WEB,weblink Naturalisation as a British Citizen: Concepts and Trends, Scott, Blinder, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 27 March 2015, 1 August 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 September 2015, The total number of grants of settlement, which confers permanent residence in the UK without granting British citizenship,WEB,weblink Settlement in the UK, Scott, Blinder, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 11 June 2014, 1 August 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 September 2015, was approximately 154,700 in 2013, compared to 241,200 in 2010 and 129,800 in 2012.{| class="wikitable floatright" style="text-align: right; width: 200px;"!Year!|Foreign born population of England and Wales!Total populationWEB,weblink The 1901 Census, WEB,weblink summary history of immigration to Britain, WEB,weblink UK 2011 Census Data, 11 December 2012, National Archives,weblink" title="">weblink 12 April 2013, bot: unknown, WEB,weblink Non-UK Born Population of England and Wales Quadrupled Between 1951 and 2011, National Archives, 17 December 2013,weblink 5 January 2016, bot: unknown, WEB,weblink 2011 Census analysis: Immigration Patterns of Non-UK Born Populations in England and Wales in 2011, Office for National Statistics, !Irish born population!Percentage of total population that was born abroad!1851|100,000|17,900,000|520,000|0.6!1861|150,000|20,100,000|600,000|0.7!1871|200,000|22,700,000|565,000|0.9!1881|275,000|26,000,000|560,000|1.1!1891|350,000|29,000,000|460,000|1.2!1901|475,000|32,500,000|425,000|1.5!1911|900,000|32,500,000|375,000|2.5!1921|750,000|37,900,000|365,000|2!1931|1,080,000|40,000,000|380,000|2.7!1951|1,875,000|43,700,000|470,000|4.3!1961|2,290,000|46,000,000|645,000|5.0!1971|3,100,000|48,700,000|585,000|6.4!1981|3,220,000|48,500,000|580,000|6.6!1991|3,625,000|49,900,000|570,000|7.3!2001|4,600,000|52,500,000|475,000|8.8!2011|7,500,000|56,000,000|400,000|13.4(File:British expats countrymap.svg|thumb|upright=1.35|Estimated number of British citizens living overseas by country in 2006)From 2008, the British Government introduced a points-based immigration system for immigration from outside the European Economic Area to replace former schemes, including the Scottish Government's Fresh Talent Initiative.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 July 2011, Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland, UK Border Agency, London, 9 March 2015, In June 2010 a temporary limit of 24,000 on immigration from outside the EU was introduced, aiming to discourage applications before a permanent cap was imposed in April 2011.NEWS,weblink Tories begin consultation on cap for migrants, Financial Times, London, James, Boxell, 28 June 2010, 17 September 2010, Emigration was an important feature of British society in the 19th century. Between 1815 and 1930 around 11.4 million people emigrated from Britain and 7.3 million from Ireland. Estimates show that by the end of the 20th century some 300 million people of British and Irish descent were permanently settled around the globe.Richards (2004), pp. 6–7. Today, at least 5.5 million UK-born people live abroad,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 28 August 2007, Brits Abroad: Mapping the scale and nature of British emigration, Dhananjayan, Sriskandarajah, Catherine, Drew, Institute for Public Policy Research, 11 December 2006, 9 March 2015, NEWS,weblink Brits Abroad: world overview, BBC, 20 April 2007, NEWS,weblink 5.5 m Britons 'opt to live abroad', BBC News, 11 December 2006, 20 April 2007, Dominic, Casciani, mainly in Australia, Spain, the United States and Canada.NEWS,weblink Brits Abroad: Country-by-country, BBC News, 11 December 2006,


Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter, with each country having a separate education system.Considering the four systems together, about 38 per cent of the United Kingdom population has a university or college degree, which is the highest percentage in Europe, and among the highest percentages in the world.WEB,weblink The Most Educated Countries in the World, 24 September 2012, Yahoo Finance, 20 April 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2016, NEWS,weblink And the World's Most Educated Country Is…, Time, New York, 27 September 2012, 20 April 2016, The United Kingdom trails only the United States in terms of representation on lists of top 100 universities.WEB,weblink Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015, Shanghai, 2015, 21 October 2015, WEB,weblink QS World University Rankings 2015/16, Quacquarelli Symonds Limited, 2015, London, 21 October 2015, NEWS,weblink World University Rankings 2015–16, Times Higher Education, 2015, London, 21 October 2015, NEWS,weblink Best Global Universities Rankings 2016, US News & World Report, 2015, Washington DC, 21 October 2015, A government commission's report in 2014 found that privately educated people comprise 7 per cent of the general population of the UK but much larger percentages of the top professions, the most extreme case quoted being 71 per cent of senior judges.WEB,weblink Elitist Britain?, Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 28 August 2014, NEWS, Arnett, George,weblink Elitism in Britain – breakdown by profession, The Guardian: Datablog, 28 August 2014, EnglandFile:Tom Quad, Christ Church 2004-01-21.jpg|thumb|right|Christ Church, Oxford, is part of the University of OxfordUniversity of OxfordWhilst education in England is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education, the day-to-day administration and funding of state schools is the responsibility of local authorities.WEB,weblinkweblink dead, 30 December 2008, Local Authorities, Department for Children, Schools and Families, 21 December 2008, Universally free of charge state education was introduced piecemeal between 1870 and 1944.BOOK, Gordon, J.C.B., Verbal Deficit: A Critique, Croom Helm, London, 1981, 978-0-85664-990-5, 44 note 18, Section 8 ('Duty of local education authorities to secure provision of primary and secondary schools'), Sections 35–40 ('Compulsory attendance at Primary and Secondary Schools') and Section 61 ('Prohibition of fees in schools maintained by local education authorities ...'), Education Act 1944. Education is now mandatory from ages five to sixteen, and in England youngsters must stay in education or training until they are 18.WEB,weblink School leaving age, UK Government, 20 April 2016, In 2011, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rated 13–14-year-old pupils in England and Wales 10th in the world for maths and 9th for science.NEWS,weblink England's pupils in global top 10, BBC News, 10 December 2008, The majority of children are educated in state-sector schools, a small proportion of which select on the grounds of academic ability. Two of the top ten performing schools in terms of GCSE results in 2006 were state-run grammar schools. In 2010, over half of places at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge were taken by students from state schools,NEWS,weblink Is Oxbridge still a preserve of the posh?, TES, Frankel, Hannah, London, 3 September 2010, 9 April 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2013, dead, while the proportion of children in England attending private schools is around 7 per cent, which rises to 18 per cent of those over 16.NEWS,weblink Private school pupil numbers in decline, The Guardian, 9 November 2007, London, Donald, MacLeod, 31 March 2010, WEB,weblink Independent Schools Council Research, 20 April 2016, England has the two oldest universities in English-speaking world, Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (jointly known as "Oxbridge") with history of over eight centuries.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}Since the establishment of Bedford College (London), Girton College (Cambridge) and Somerville College (Oxford) in the 19th century, women also can obtain a university degree.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}File:KingsCollegeChapelWest.jpg|thumb|right|King's College (right) and Clare College (left), both part of the University of CambridgeUniversity of CambridgeFile:Edinburgh New College (8594473141).jpg|thumb|New College of the University of EdinburghUniversity of EdinburghScotlandEducation in Scotland is the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, with day-to-day administration and funding of state schools the responsibility of Local Authorities. Two non-departmental public bodies have key roles in Scottish education. The Scottish Qualifications Authority is responsible for the development, accreditation, assessment and certification of qualifications other than degrees which are delivered at secondary schools, post-secondary colleges of further education and other centres.WEB,weblink About SQA, Scottish Qualifications Authority, 10 April 2013, 28 April 2013, Learning and Teaching Scotland provides advice, resources and staff development to education professionals.WEB,weblink About Learning and Teaching Scotland, Learning and Teaching Scotland, 28 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 April 2012, Scotland first legislated for compulsory education in 1496.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 4 December 2007, Brain drain in reverse, Scotland Online Gateway, July 2002, The proportion of children in Scotland attending private schools is just over 4 per cent in 2016, but it has been falling slowly in recent years.WEB,weblink Facts and Figures, SCIS, 14 November 2017, Scottish students who attend Scottish universities pay neither tuition fees nor graduate endowment charges, as fees were abolished in 2001 and the graduate endowment scheme was abolished in 2008.NEWS,weblink MSPs vote to scrap endowment fee, BBC News, 28 February 2008, WalesThe Welsh Government has responsibility for education in Wales. A significant number of Welsh students are taught either wholly or largely in the Welsh language; lessons in Welsh are compulsory for all until the age of 16.WEB, Education System,weblink Welsh Government, 9 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 March 2015, There are plans to increase the provision of Welsh-medium schools as part of the policy of creating a fully bilingual Wales.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}Northern IrelandEducation in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Minister of Education, although responsibility at a local level is administered by the Education Authority which is further sub-divided into five geographical areas. The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) is the body responsible for advising the government on what should be taught in Northern Ireland's schools, monitoring standards and awarding qualifications.WEB, CCEA,weblink About Us â€“ What we do, Council for the Curriculum Examinations & Assessment, 28 April 2013,


File:15th Sep 2012-Abdn Children's Hosp & Emergency Care Centre 10.JPG|thumb|left|The Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, an NHS Scotland specialist children's hospitalchildren's hospitalHealthcare in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter and each country has its own system of private and publicly funded health care. Public healthcare is provided to all UK permanent residents and is mostly free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. The World Health Organization, in 2000, ranked the provision of healthcare in the United Kingdom as fifteenth best in Europe and eighteenth in the world.BOOK, Haden, Angela, Campanini, Barbara, The world health report 2000 â€“ Health systems: improving performance, 2000, Geneva, World Health Organisation,weblink 978-92-4-156198-3, 5 July 2011, JOURNAL,weblink Measuring overall health system performance for 191 countries, World Health Organization, New York University, 5 July 2011, World Health Organization, Since 1979 expenditure on healthcare has been increased significantly to bring it closer to the European Union average.JOURNAL,weblink The NHS from Thatcher to Blair, Peter, Fisher, NHS Consultants Association, The Budget ... was even more generous to the NHS than had been expected amounting to an annual rise of 7.4 per cent above the rate of inflation for the next 5 years. This would take us to 9.4 per cent of GDP spent on health ie around EU average., 19 December 2018,weblink" title="">weblink 20 November 2018, dead, The UK spends around 8.4 per cent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, which is 0.5 percentage points below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average and about one percentage point below the average of the European Union.WEB,weblink OECD Health Data 2012 â€“ How Does the United Kingdom Compare, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, 9 March 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 March 2013, Regulatory bodies are organised on a UK-wide basis such as the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and non-governmental-based, such as the Royal Colleges. Political and operational responsibility for healthcare lies with four national executives; healthcare in England is the responsibility of the UK Government; healthcare in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive; healthcare in Scotland is the responsibility of the Scottish Government; and healthcare in Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh Government. Each National Health Service has different policies and priorities, resulting in contrasts.NEWS,weblink 'Huge contrasts' in devolved NHS, BBC News, 28 August 2008, NEWS,weblink NHS now four different systems, BBC News, 2 January 2008, Nick, Triggle,


The culture of the United Kingdom has been influenced by many factors including: the nation's island status; its history as a western liberal democracy and a major power; as well as being a political union of four countries with each preserving elements of distinctive traditions, customs and symbolism. As a result of the British Empire, British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies including Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the United States; a common culture conned today as the Anglosphere. The substantial cultural influence of the United Kingdom has led it to be described as a "cultural superpower"."The cultural superpower: British cultural projection abroad". Journal of the British Politics Society, Norway. Volume 6. No. 1. Winter 2011NEWS,weblink Sheridan, Greg, Cameron has chance to make UK great again, 20 May 2012, The Australian, Sydney, 15 May 2010, A global opinion poll for the BBC saw the United Kingdom ranked the third most positively viewed nation in the world (behind Germany and Canada) in 2013 and 2014.NEWS,weblink BBC poll: Germany most popular country in the world, BBC, 23 May 2013, 20 February 2018, NEWS,weblink World Service Global Poll: Negative views of Russia on the rise,, 4 June 2014, 20 February 2018,


File:William Shakespeare Chandos Portrait.jpg|thumb|upright|The Chandos portrait, believed to depict William ShakespeareWilliam Shakespeare"British literature" refers to literature associated with the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Most British literature is in the English language. In 2005, some 206,000 books were published in the United Kingdom and in 2006 it was the largest publisher of books in the world.NEWS, Goldfarb, Jeffrey, Bookish Britain overtakes America as top publisher,weblink Reuters, 10 May 2006, RedOrbit, Texas, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2008, The English playwright and poet William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time,WEB,weblink William Shakespeare (English author), Britannica Online encyclopedia, 26 February 2006, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 9 February 2006, MSN Encarta Encyclopedia article on Shakespeare, 26 February 2006, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, William Shakespeare, 26 February 2006, and his contemporaries Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson have also been held in continuous high esteem. More recently the playwrights Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn, Tom Stoppard and David Edgar have combined elements of surrealism, realism and radicalism.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}Notable pre-modern and early-modern English writers include Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century), Thomas Malory (15th century), Sir Thomas More (16th century), John Bunyan (17th century) and John Milton (17th century).{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} In the 18th century Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) and Samuel Richardson were pioneers of the modern novel.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} In the 19th century there followed further innovation by Jane Austen, the gothic novelist Mary Shelley, the children's writer Lewis Carroll, the Brontë sisters, the social campaigner Charles Dickens, the naturalist Thomas Hardy, the realist George Eliot, the visionary poet William Blake and Romantic poet William Wordsworth.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} 20th-century English writers include the science-fiction novelist H. G. Wells; the writers of children's classics Rudyard Kipling, A. A. Milne (the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh), Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton; the controversial D. H. Lawrence; the modernist Virginia Woolf; the satirist Evelyn Waugh; the prophetic novelist George Orwell; the popular novelists W. Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene;{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} the crime writer Agatha Christie (the best-selling novelist of all time);NEWS,weblink Mystery of Christie's success is solved, 14 November 2010, The Daily Telegraph, 19 December 2005, London, Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond); the poets T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes; the fantasy writers J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling; the graphic novelists Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}File:Dickens by Watkins 1858.png|thumb|left|upright|A photograph of Victorian-era novelist Charles DickensCharles DickensScotland's contributions include the detective writer Arthur Conan Doyle (the creator of Sherlock Holmes), romantic literature by Sir Walter Scott, the children's writer J. M. Barrie, the epic adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson and the celebrated poet Robert Burns. More recently the modernist and nationalist Hugh MacDiarmid and Neil M. Gunn contributed to the Scottish Renaissance. A more grim outlook is found in Ian Rankin's stories and the psychological horror-comedy of Iain Banks. Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, was UNESCO's first worldwide City of Literature.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 28 May 2013, Edinburgh, UK appointed first UNESCO City of Literature, Unesco, 2004, 9 March 2015, Britain's oldest known poem, Y Gododdin, was composed in Yr Hen Ogledd (The Old North), most likely in the late 6th century. It was written in Cumbric or Old Welsh and contains the earliest known reference to King Arthur.WEB,weblink Early Welsh poetry, BBC Wales, 29 December 2010, From around the seventh century, the connection between Wales and the Old North was lost, and the focus of Welsh-language culture shifted to Wales, where Arthurian legend was further developed by Geoffrey of Monmouth.BOOK,weblink History of English Literature from Beowulf to Swinburne, Lang, Andrew, 2003, 42, 978-0-8095-3229-2, Wildside Press, Holicong, PA, 1913, Wales's most celebrated medieval poet, Dafydd ap Gwilym (fl.1320–1370), composed poetry on themes including nature, religion and especially love. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest European poets of his age.WEB, Dafydd ap Gwilym,weblink Dafydd ap Gwilym is widely regarded as one of the greatest Welsh poets of all time, and amongst the leading European poets of the Middle Ages., 3 January 2011, Literature Wales, Academi, 2011, Literature Wales, Academi website, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 March 2012, Until the late 19th century the majority of Welsh literature was in Welsh and much of the prose was religious in character. Daniel Owen is credited as the first Welsh-language novelist, publishing Rhys Lewis in 1885. The best-known of the Anglo-Welsh poets are both Thomases. Dylan Thomas became famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the mid-20th century. He is remembered for his poetry – his "Do not go gentle into that good night; Rage, rage against the dying of the light" is one of the most quoted couplets of English language verse – and for his "play for voices", Under Milk Wood. The influential Church in Wales "poet-priest" and Welsh nationalist R. S. Thomas was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1996. Leading Welsh novelists of the twentieth century include Richard Llewellyn and Kate Roberts.True birthplace of Wales's literary hero. BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2012.WEB,weblink Kate Roberts: Biography, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 July 2012, 19 February 2017, BBC Wales, Authors of other nationalities, particularly from Commonwealth countries, the Republic of Ireland and the United States, have lived and worked in the UK. Significant examples through the centuries include Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, George Bernard Shaw, Joseph Conrad, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and, more recently, British authors born abroad such as Kazuo Ishiguro and Sir Salman Rushdie.BOOK,weblink Gulliver's travels: complete, authoritative text with biographical and historical contexts, critical history, and essays from five contemporary critical perspectives, Swift, Jonathan, Fox, Christopher, Macmillan, Basingstoke, 978-0-333-63438-7, 1995, 10, NEWS,weblink Bram Stoker., The New York Times, 1 January 2011, 23 April 1912,


{{See also|Rock music in the United Kingdom}}File:The Fabs.JPG|thumb|upright|The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in popular music, selling over a billion records.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 25 April 2014, 1960–1969, EMI Group, 9 March 2015, dead, NEWS,weblink Paul At Fifty, Time, New York, 8 June 1992, Most Successful Group The Guinness Book of RecordsThe Guinness Book of RecordsVarious styles of music are popular in the UK from the indigenous folk music of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to heavy metal. Notable composers of classical music from the United Kingdom and the countries that preceded it include William Byrd, Henry Purcell, Sir Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Sir Arthur Sullivan (most famous for working with the librettist Sir W. S. Gilbert), Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten, pioneer of modern British opera. Sir Harrison Birtwistle is one of the foremost living composers. The UK is also home to world-renowned symphonic orchestras and choruses such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Chorus. Notable conductors include Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Barbirolli and Sir Malcolm Sargent. Some of the notable film score composers include John Barry, Clint Mansell, Mike Oldfield, John Powell, Craig Armstrong, David Arnold, John Murphy, Monty Norman and Harry Gregson-Williams. George Frideric Handel became a naturalised British citizen and wrote the British coronation anthem, while some of his best works, such as Messiah, were written in the English language.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2010, British Citizen by Act of Parliament: George Frideric Handel, 20 July 2009, UK Parliament, 9 March 2015, NEWS,weblink Handel all'inglese, Andrews, John, 14 April 2006, Playbill, New York, 11 September 2009, Andrew Lloyd Webber is a prolific composer of musical theatre. His works have dominated London's West End since the late 20th century and have also been a commercial success worldwide.BOOK,weblink Sondheim and Lloyd-Webber: The new musical, Chatto & Windus, London, 2001, Citron, Stephen, 978-1-85619-273-6, The Beatles have international sales of over one billion units and are the biggest-selling and most influential band in the history of popular music.NEWS,weblink Beatles a big hit with downloads, Belfast Telegraph, 25 November 2010, 16 May 2011, Other prominent British contributors to have influenced popular music over the last 50 years include The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin, the Bee Gees, and Elton John, all of whom have worldwide record sales of 200 million or more.PRESS RELEASE,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 23 April 2014, British rock legends get their own music title for PlayStation3 and PlayStation2, EMI, 2 February 2009, 9 March 2015, NEWS,weblink Sir Elton John honoured in Ben and Jerry ice cream, The Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2008, Urmee, Khan, London, NEWS,weblink Rock group Led Zeppelin to reunite, The Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2008, London, Richard, Alleyne, 31 March 2010, NEWS, Floyd 'true to Barrett's legacy',weblink BBC News, 11 July 2006, NEWS, Kate, Holton, Rolling Stones sign Universal album deal,weblink Reuters, 17 January 2008, 26 October 2008, NEWS, Tim, Walker, Jive talkin': Why Robin Gibb wants more respect for the Bee Gees,weblink The Independent, London, 12 May 2008, 26 October 2008, The Brit Awards are the BPI's annual music awards, and some of the British recipients of the Outstanding Contribution to Music award include; The Who, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and The Police."Brit awards winners list 2012: every winner since 1977". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 28 February 2012. More recent UK music acts that have had international success include Coldplay, Radiohead, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Spice Girls, Robbie Williams, Amy Winehouse and Adele.NEWS, Corner, Lewis,weblink Adele, Coldplay biggest-selling UK artists worldwide in 2011, Digital Spy, 16 February 2012, 22 March 2012, A number of UK cities are known for their music. Acts from Liverpool have had 54 UK chart number one hit singles, more per capita than any other city worldwide.NEWS,weblink A tale of two cities of culture: Liverpool vs Stavanger, Hughes, Mark, 14 January 2008, The Independent, 2 August 2009, London, Glasgow's contribution to music was recognised in 2008 when it was named a UNESCO City of Music, one of only three cities in the world to have this honour.NEWS,weblink Glasgow gets city of music honour, BBC News, 20 August 2008, 2 August 2009, As of 2016, pop remains the most popular music genre in the UK with 33.4 per cent of unit sales, followed by hip-hop and R&B at 24.5 per cent of unit sales.WEB,weblink UK music single sales: genre breakdown 2016 {{!, Statistic|website=Statista|accessdate=18 June 2018}} Rock is not far behind, at 22.6 per cent of unit sales. The modern UK is known to produce some of the most prominent world rappers along with the United States, including Stormzy, Kano, Yxng Bane, Ramz and Skepta.NEWS,weblink 5 U.K. Rappers Primed to Take Over America in 2018, Billboard, 18 June 2018, The sharp increase of hip-hop and R&B listeners in the UK in the last three years is often explained by an easier access to the genre due to the higher usage of streaming platforms such as Spotify and SoundCloud where hip-hop and R&B is the most popular genre,NEWS,weblink Hip-Hop Is the Most-Streamed Genre on Spotify Globally, Up 74% Year Over Year, DJBooth, 18 June 2018, NEWS,weblink All 50 Songs on SoundCloud's Top 50 Most Popular List Are Made by Rappers, PigeonsandPlanes, 18 June 2018, and also by the rising of new hip-hop and R&B sub-genres popular among the Millennials and the Generation Z (post-Millennials), mainly developed in the US with artists popular in the UK, such as phonk rapWEB,weblink What the phonk? The genre that's gripping Generation Z, Haynes, Gavin, 27 January 2017, the Guardian, 18 June 2018, NEWS,weblink How Music Has Impacted Generation Z, 24 March 2017, The Rampart, 18 June 2018, (e.g. A$AP Rocky, Lil Uzi Vert, Chance the Rapper, Lil Skies) and alternative R&BNEWS,weblink Ready For The Weeknd: What Makes The Enigmatic R&B Star Tick, 17 November 2016, NME, 18 June 2018, WEB,weblink How R&B got its groove back, Wolfson, Sam, 29 June 2015, The Guardian, 18 June 2018, (e.g. The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe, SZA).

Visual art

File:Turner selfportrait.jpg|left|upright|thumb|J. M. W. TurnerJ. M. W. TurnerThe history of British visual art forms part of western art history. Major British artists include: the Romantics William Blake, John Constable, Samuel Palmer and J.M.W. Turner; the portrait painters Sir Joshua Reynolds and Lucian Freud; the landscape artists Thomas Gainsborough and L. S. Lowry; the pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris; the figurative painter Francis Bacon; the Pop artists Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton and David Hockney; the pioneers of Conceptual art movement Art & Language;NEWS,weblink Art & Language – Art Term {{!, Tate|last=Tate|work=Tate|accessdate=8 September 2018}} the collaborative duo Gilbert and George; the abstract artist Howard Hodgkin; and the sculptors Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Henry Moore. During the late 1980s and 1990s the Saatchi Gallery in London helped to bring to public attention a group of multi-genre artists who would become known as the "Young British Artists": Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Rachel Whiteread, Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger, Steve McQueen, Sam Taylor-Wood and the Chapman Brothers are among the better-known members of this loosely affiliated movement.The Royal Academy in London is a key organisation for the promotion of the visual arts in the United Kingdom. Major schools of art in the UK include: the six-school University of the Arts London, which includes the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Chelsea College of Art and Design; Goldsmiths, University of London; the Slade School of Fine Art (part of University College London); the Glasgow School of Art; the Royal College of Art; and The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art (part of the University of Oxford). The Courtauld Institute of Art is a leading centre for the teaching of the history of art. Important art galleries in the United Kingdom include the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern (the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year).NEWS,weblink The startling success of Tate Modern, 19 January 2011, The Times, 24 April 2010, London, Stephen, Bayley, {{subscription required}}


File:Hitchcock, Alfred 02.jpg|upright|thumb|(Alfred Hitchcock]] has been ranked as one of the greatest and most influential British filmmakers of all time."The top 21 British directors of all time". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 June 2015.)The United Kingdom has had a considerable influence on the history of the cinema. The British directors Alfred Hitchcock, whose film Vertigo is considered by some critics as the best film of all time,NEWS,weblink Vertigo is named 'greatest film of all time', BBC News, 2 August 2012, 18 August 2012, and David Lean are among the most critically acclaimed of all-time.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 17 May 2012, live, The Directors' Top Ten Directors, British Film Institute, Many British actors have achieved international fame and critical success. Some of the most commercially successful films of all time have been produced in the United Kingdom, including two of the highest-grossing film franchises (Harry Potter and James Bond).NEWS,weblink Harry Potter becomes highest-grossing film franchise, 2 November 2010, The Guardian, 11 September 2007, London, Ealing Studios has a claim to being the oldest continuously working film studio in the world.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2013, History of Ealing Studios, Ealing Studios, 9 March 2015, Despite a history of important and successful productions, the industry has often been characterised by a debate about its identity and the level of American and European influence.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} British producers are active in international co-productions and British actors, directors and crew feature regularly in American films.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} Many successful Hollywood films have been based on British people, stories or events, including Titanic, The Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}In 2009, British films grossed around $2 billion worldwide and achieved a market share of around 7 per cent globally and 17 per cent in the United Kingdom.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 8 October 2009, UK film â€“ the vital statistics, 9 March 2015, UK Film Council, UK box-office takings totalled £944 million in 2009, with around 173 million admissions. The annual British Academy Film Awards are hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.NEWS,weblink Baftas fuel Oscars race, 14 February 2011, BBC News, 26 February 2001,


File:Chicken tikka masala.jpg|upright=0.7|thumb|Chicken tikka masala, 1971, adapted from Indian chicken tikkachicken tikkaBritish cuisine developed from various influences reflective of its land, settlements, arrivals of new settlers and immigrants, trade and colonialism. Celtic agriculture and animal breeding produced a wide variety of foodstuffs for indigenous Celts and Britons. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques before the practice became common in Europe. The Norman conquest introduced exotic spices into England in the Middle Ages.BOOK, British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, Colin, Spencer, 2003, 978-0-231-13110-0, Columbia University Press, {{pages needed|date=January 2018}} The British Empire facilitated a knowledge of Indian cuisine with its "strong, penetrating spices and herbs". British cuisine has absorbed the cultural influence of those who have settled in Britain, producing many hybrid dishes, such as the Anglo-Indian chicken tikka masala.NEWS, BBC E-Cyclopedia,weblink Chicken tikka masala: Spice and easy does it,, 28 September 2007, 20 April 2001,


File:Bbc broadcasting house front.jpg|thumb|upright= 0.75|Broadcasting House in London, headquarters of the (BBC]], the oldest and largest broadcaster in the worldWEB, BBC: World's largest broadcaster & Most trusted media brand, Media Newsline,weblink 23 September 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 5 October 2010, dead, WEB, Digital license, Prospect,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 7 November 2011, 9 March 2015, NEWS, About the BBC â€“ What is the BBC, BBC Online,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2010, 9 March 2015, )The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates numerous television and radio stations in the UK and abroad and its domestic services are funded by the television licence.JOURNAL, Newswire7, BBC: World's largest broadcaster & Most trusted media brand, Media Newsline, 13 August 2009,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 10 May 2011, 19 June 2011, WEB, TV Licence Fee: facts & figures, BBC Press Office, April 2010,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 27 April 2011, live, Other major players in the UK media include ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network,JOURNAL, Publications & Policies: The History of ITV,,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 11 April 2011, and News Corporation, which owns a number of national newspapers through News International such as the most popular tabloid The Sun and the longest-established daily "broadsheet" The Times,WEB, Publishing, News Corporation,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2011, dead, as well as holding a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.JOURNAL, Direct Broadcast Satellite Television, News Corporation,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 4 June 2011, London dominates the media sector in the UK: national newspapers and television and radio are largely based there, although Manchester is also a significant national media centre. Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff, are important centres of newspaper and broadcasting production in Scotland and Wales respectively.William, D. (2010). UK Cities: A Look at Life and Major Cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Eastbourne: Gardners Books. {{ISBN|978-9987-16-021-1}}, pp. 22, 46, 109 and 145. The UK publishing sector, including books, directories and databases, journals, magazines and business media, newspapers and news agencies, has a combined turnover of around £20 billion and employs around 167,000 people.WEB, Publishing, Department of Culture, Media and Sport,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink live, 5 May 2011, In 2009, it was estimated that individuals viewed a mean of 3.75 hours of television per day and 2.81 hours of radio. In that year the main BBC public service broadcasting channels accounted for an estimated 28.4 per cent of all television viewing; the three main independent channels accounted for 29.5 per cent and the increasingly important other satellite and digital channels for the remaining 42.1 per cent.Ofcom "Communication Market Report 2010", 19 August 2010, pp. 97, 164 and 191 Sales of newspapers have fallen since the 1970s and in 2010 41 per cent of people reported reading a daily national newspaper.WEB, Social Trends 41: Lifestyles and social participation, Office for National Statistics, 24 February 2011,weblink In 2010, 82.5 per cent of the UK population were Internet users, the highest proportion amongst the 20 countries with the largest total number of users in that year.JOURNAL, Top 20 countries with the highest number of Internet users, Internet World Stats,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 10 June 2011, dead, 19 June 2011,


The United Kingdom is famous for the tradition of 'British Empiricism', a branch of the philosophy of knowledge that states that only knowledge verified by experience is valid, and 'Scottish Philosophy', sometimes referred to as the 'Scottish School of Common Sense'.BOOK,weblink A bibliography of Scottish common sense philosophy: Sources and origins, 17 December 2010, Fieser, James, Thoemmes Press, Bristol, 2000, The most famous philosophers of British Empiricism are John Locke, George Berkeley{{refn|group=note|Berkeley is in fact Irish but was called a 'British empiricist' due to the territory of what is now known as the Republic of Ireland being in the UK at the time}} and David Hume; while Dugald Stewart, Thomas Reid and William Hamilton were major exponents of the Scottish "common sense" school. Two Britons are also notable for a theory of moral philosophy utilitarianism, first used by Jeremy Bentham and later by John Stuart Mill in his short work Utilitarianism.BOOK,weblink Moral Problems in Medicine: A Practical Coursebook, Palmer, Michael, Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, 1999, 978-0-7188-2978-0, 66, BOOK,weblink Utilitarianism, Scarre, Geoffrey, Routledge, London, 1995, 82, 978-0-415-12197-2,


File:Wembley-STadion 2013.JPG|thumb|Wembley Stadium, London, home of the England national football teamEngland national football teamMajor sports, including association football, tennis, rugby union, rugby league, golf, boxing, netball, rowing and cricket, originated or were substantially developed in the UK and the states that preceded it. With the rules and codes of many modern sports invented and codified in late 19th century Victorian Britain, in 2012, the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, stated; "This great, sports-loving country is widely recognised as the birthplace of modern sport. It was here that the concepts of sportsmanship and fair play were first codified into clear rules and regulations. It was here that sport was included as an educational tool in the school curriculum"."Opening ceremony of the games of the XXX Olympiad". Retrieved 30 November 2013."Unparalleled Sporting History". Reuters. Retrieved 30 November 2013.In most international competitions, separate teams represent England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland usually field a single team representing all of Ireland, with notable exceptions being association football and the Commonwealth Games. In sporting contexts, the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish / Northern Irish teams are often referred to collectively as the Home Nations. There are some sports in which a single team represents the whole of United Kingdom, including the Olympics, where the UK is represented by the Great Britain team. The 1908, 1948 and 2012 Summer Olympics were held in London, making it the first city to host the games three times. Britain has participated in every modern Olympic Games to date and is third in the medal count.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}A 2003 poll found that football is the most popular sport in the United Kingdom.WEB,weblink Rugby Union 'Britain's Second Most Popular Sport', Ipsos-Mori, 22 December 2003, 28 April 2013, England is recognised by FIFA as the birthplace of club football, and The Football Association is the oldest of its kind, with the rules of football first drafted in 1863 by Ebenezer Cobb Morley.NEWS,weblink The father of football deserves much more, Rudd, Alyson, The Times, London, 7 April 2008, subscription, 29 January 2015, WEB,weblink FIFA, Sheffield FC: 150 years of history, 29 January 2015, 24 October 2007, Each of the Home Nations has its own football association, national team and league system. The English top division, the Premier League, is the most watched football league in the world.NEWS, Ebner, Sarah, 2 July 2013,weblink History and time are key to power of football, says Premier League chief, The Times, London, 30 November 2013, subscription, The first international football match was contested by England and Scotland on 30 November 1872.WEB, The first international football match,weblink BBC Sport Scotland, Mitchell, Paul, November 2005, 15 December 2013, Paul Mitchell (broadcaster), England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland usually compete as separate countries in international competitions.NEWS,weblink Why is there no GB Olympics football team?, BBC Sport, 5 August 2008, 31 December 2010, File:Inside the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.jpg|thumb|left|The Millennium Stadium of Cardiff opened for the 1999 Rugby World Cup1999 Rugby World CupIn 2003, rugby union was ranked the second most popular sport in the UK. The sport was created in Rugby School, Warwickshire, and the first rugby international took place on 27 March 1871 between England and Scotland."Six ways the town of Rugby helped change the world". BBC. Retrieved 29 January 2015.Godwin, Terry; Rhys, Chris (1981).The Guinness Book of Rugby Facts & Feats. p. 10. Enfield: Guinness Superlatives Ltd England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy compete in the Six Nations Championship; the premier international tournament in the northern hemisphere. Sport governing bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland organise and regulate the game separately.BOOK,weblink The Girlfriends Guide to Rugby, Louw, Jaco, Nesbit, Derrick, South Publishers, Johannesburg, 2008, 978-0-620-39541-0, Every four years, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales make a combined team known currently as the British and Irish Lions. The team currently tour Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.Cricket was invented in England, and its laws were established by Marylebone Cricket Club in 1788.Colin White (2010). "Projectile Dynamics in Sport: Principles and Applications". p. 222. Routledge The England cricket team, controlled by the England and Wales Cricket Board,WEB,weblink About ECB, England and Wales Cricket Board, n.d., 28 April 2013, and the Irish cricket team, controlled by Cricket Ireland are the only national teams in the UK with Test status. Team members are drawn from the main county sides, and include both English and Welsh players. Cricket is distinct from football and rugby where Wales and England field separate national teams, although Wales had fielded its own team in the past. Irish and Scottish players have played for England because neither Scotland nor Ireland have Test status and have only recently started to play in One Day Internationals.NEWS,weblink Howzat happen? England fields a Gaelic-speaking Scotsman in Ashes, The Scotsman, 4 August 2009, 30 December 2010, Edinburgh, Martyn, McLaughlin, NEWS,weblink Uncapped Joyce wins Ashes call up, BBC Sport, 30 December 2010, 15 November 2006, Scotland, England (and Wales), and Ireland (including Northern Ireland) have competed at the Cricket World Cup, with England winning the tournament in 2019. There is a professional league championship in which clubs representing 17 English counties and 1 Welsh county compete.WEB,weblink Glamorgan, BBC South East Wales, August 2009, 30 December 2010, File:Saville vs Broady – Wimbledon Boys Singles Final 2011.jpg|thumb|Wimbledon, the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament, is held in Wimbledon, London every June and July.]]The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the 1860s, before spreading around the world.History of Tennis International Tennis Federation. Retrieved 28 July 2008. The world's oldest tennis tournament, the Wimbledon championships, first occurred in 1877, and today the event takes place over two weeks in late June and early July.NEWS,weblink 125 years of Wimbledon: From birth of lawn tennis to modern marvels, CNN, 21 January 2015, 22 June 2011, Gary, Morley, Thoroughbred racing, which originated under Charles II of England as the "sport of kings", is popular throughout the UK with world-famous races including the Grand National, the Epsom Derby, Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival (including the Cheltenham Gold Cup). The UK has proved successful in the international sporting arena in rowing.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}The UK is closely associated with motorsport. Many teams and drivers in Formula One (F1) are based in the UK, and the country has won more drivers' and constructors' titles than any other. The UK hosted the first F1 Grand Prix in 1950 at Silverstone, the current location of the British Grand Prix held each year in July."The History of British Motorsport and Motor Racing at Silverstone – The 1950s". Retrieved 20 June 2015. The UK hosts legs of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing, World Rally Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship. The premier national auto racing event is the British Touring Car Championship. Motorcycle road racing has a long tradition with races such as the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}File:R&A Clubhouse, Old Course, Swilcan Burn bridge.jpg|thumb|left|(The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews|St Andrews]], Scotland, the home of golf. The standard 18 hole golf course was created at St Andrews in 1764.Forrest L. Richardson (2002). "Routing the Golf Course: The Art & Science That Forms the Golf Journey". p. 46. John Wiley & Sons)Golf is the sixth most popular sport, by participation, in the UK. Although The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Scotland is the sport's home course,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 5 February 2009, Tracking the Field, Ipsos MORI, 17 October 2008, the world's oldest golf course is actually Musselburgh Links' Old Golf Course.NEWS,weblink Links plays into the record books, BBC News, 17 March 2009, In 1764, the standard 18-hole golf course was created at St Andrews when members modified the course from 22 to 18 holes. The oldest golf tournament in the world, and the first major championship in golf, The Open Championship, is played annually on the weekend of the third Friday in July.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 2 October 2012, The Open Championship â€“ More Scottish than British, PGA Tour, 9 March 2015, Rugby league originated in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in 1895 and is generally played in Northern England.BOOK,weblink Professional identities: policy and practice in business and bureaucracy, 978-1-84545-054-0, Ardener, Shirley, Berghahn, New York, 2007, 27, A single 'Great Britain Lions' team had competed in the Rugby League World Cup and Test match games, but this changed in 2008 when England, Scotland and Ireland competed as separate nations.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 16 October 2007, Official Website of Rugby League World Cup 2008, Great Britain is still retained as the full national team. Super League is the highest level of professional rugby league in the UK and Europe. It consists of 11 teams from Northern England, and one each from London, Wales and France.NEWS, Baker, Andrew, 100 years of rugby league: From the great divide to the Super era, The Independent, 20 August 1995,weblink 20 June 2015, London, The 'Queensberry rules', the code of general rules in boxing, was named after John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry in 1867, and formed the basis of modern boxing.Encyclopædia Britannica (2006).Å· Queensbury Rules, Britannica Snooker is another of the UK's popular sporting exports, with the world championships held annually in Sheffield.NEWS,weblink China in Ding's hands, BBC Sport, 2 January 2011, Saj, Chowdhury, 22 January 2007, In Northern Ireland Gaelic football and hurling are popular team sports, both in terms of participation and spectating, and Irish expatriates in the UK and the US also play them.NEWS, The ancient Irish sport of hurling catches on in America,weblink Columbia News Service, Columbia Journalism School, 17 May 2011, Gould, Joe, 10 April 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 14 August 2011, dead, Shinty (or camanachd) is popular in the Scottish Highlands.WEB,weblink Shinty, Scottish Sport, 28 April 2013, Highland games are held in spring and summer in Scotland, celebrating Scottish and celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands."Sport in Scotland". Retrieved 20 June 2015.


File:Britannia-Statue.jpg|thumb|right|upright|The Statue of Britannia in Plymouth. Britannia is a national personificationnational personificationThe flag of the United Kingdom is the Union Flag (also referred to as the Union Jack). It was created in 1606 by the superimposition of the Flag of England on the Flag of Scotland and updated in 1801 with the addition of Saint Patrick's Flag. Wales is not represented in the Union Flag, as Wales had been conquered and annexed to England prior to the formation of the United Kingdom. The possibility of redesigning the Union Flag to include representation of Wales has not been completely ruled out.NEWS,weblink Welsh dragon call for Union flag, BBC News, 27 November 2007, 17 October 2008, The national anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the Queen", with "Queen" replaced with "King" in the lyrics whenever the monarch is a man.Britannia is a national personification of the United Kingdom, originating from Roman Britain.WEB,weblink Britannia on British Coins, Chard, 25 June 2006, Britannia is symbolised as a young woman with brown or golden hair, wearing a Corinthian helmet and white robes. She holds Poseidon's three-pronged trident and a shield, bearing the Union Flag. Sometimes she is depicted as riding on the back of a lion.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} Since the height of the British Empire in the late 19th century, Britannia has often been associated with British maritime dominance, as in the patriotic song "Rule, Britannia!".{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} Up until 2008, the lion symbol was depicted behind Britannia on the British fifty pence coin and on the back of the British ten pence coin.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}} It is also used as a symbol on the non-ceremonial flag of the British Army.{{citation needed|date=September 2018}}A second, less used, personification of the nation is the character John Bull. The bulldog is sometimes used as a symbol of the United Kingdom and has been associated with Winston Churchill's defiance of Nazi Germany.BOOK, Baker, Steve, Picturing the Beast, University of Illinois Press, 2001, 52, 978-0-252-07030-3,


There are many British stereotypes, some are positive, some are negative, and some are untrue.WEB,weblink The stereotypes Americans have about Britain which are actually completely wrong, Alex, Finnis, 24 April 2018,, 20 May 2019,


See also

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External links

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