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Retrieved 16 October Australian Law Postgraduate Network. 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. Its current constitution, and guarantees of a degree of operational independence from government, is found in the Bank of England Act The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain , the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands.
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.
Setting aside the intervention in Sierra Leone in , the last occasion on which the British military fought alone was the Falklands War of 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. The UK has a partially regulated market economy. 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. The Industrial Revolution started in the UK with an initial concentration on the textile industry,  followed by other heavy industries such as shipbuilding , coal mining and steelmaking. Manufacturing remains a significant part of the economy but accounted for only In , the UK produced around 1.
The UK is a major centre for engine manufacturing: BAE Systems plays a critical role in some of the world's biggest defence aerospace projects. 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.
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, engines in service in the civil and defence sectors. It is growing at a rate of 7. 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.
In the final quarter of , the UK economy officially entered recession for the first time since Since the s, UK economic inequality , like Canada, Australia and the United States, has grown faster than in other developed countries. The combination of the UK's relatively lax regulatory regime and London's financial institutions providing sophisticated methods to launder proceeds from criminal activity around the world, including those from drug trade, makes the City of London a global hub for illicit finance and the UK a safe haven for the world's major-league tax dodgers , according to research papers and reports published in the mids.
England and Scotland were leading centres of the Scientific Revolution from the 17th century. Major scientific discoveries from the 18th century include hydrogen by Henry Cavendish ;  from the 20th century penicillin by Alexander Fleming ,  and the structure of DNA , by Francis Crick and others.
Scientific research and development remains important in British universities, with many establishing science parks to facilitate production and co-operation with industry. In Great Britain, the British Rail network was privatised between and , which was followed by a rapid rise in passenger numbers following years of decline, although the factors behind this are disputed.
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.
In the year from October to September UK airports handled a total of In , the UK was the world's ninth-largest consumer of energy and the 15th-largest producer. In , the UK was the 13th-largest producer of natural gas in the world and the largest producer in the EU. Coal production played a key role in the UK economy in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In the mids, million tonnes of coal were produced annually, not falling below million tonnes until the early s. During the s and s the industry was scaled back considerably. In , the UK produced All but one of the reactors will be retired by Unlike Germany and Japan, the UK intends to build a new generation of nuclear plants from about The total of all renewable electricity sources provided for The UK is one of the best sites in Europe for wind energy , and wind power production is its fastest growing supply, in it generated 9.
Access to improved water supply and sanitation in the UK is universal. It is estimated that 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.
A census is taken simultaneously in all parts of the UK every ten years. In mid and mid net long-term international migration contributed more to population growth. In mid and mid natural change contributed the most to population growth. England's population in was 53 million. Greater Manchester Urban Area. West Yorkshire Urban Area.
Historically, indigenous British people were thought to be descended from the various ethnic groups that settled there before the 12th century: Welsh people could be the oldest ethnic group in the UK. 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 s during the period of the African slave trade. During this period it is estimated the Afro-Caribbean population of Great Britain was 10, to 15,  which later declined due to the abolition of slavery.
By this number had more than quadrupled to ,, just over 0. Since substantial immigration from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia has been a legacy of ties forged by the British Empire. Academics have argued that the ethnicity categories employed in British national statistics, which were first introduced in the census , involve confusion between the concepts of ethnicity and race. 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 and censuses, increasing by 1.
Ethnic diversity varies significantly across the UK. In the UK census The UK's de facto official language is English. Four Celtic languages are spoken in the UK: Welsh , Irish , Scottish Gaelic and Cornish. All are recognised as regional or minority languages, subject to specific measures of protection and promotion under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages   and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
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.
It is compulsory for pupils to study a second language up to the age of 14 in England. All pupils in Wales are taught Welsh as a second language up to age 16, or are taught in Welsh. Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now the United Kingdom for over years. In the census Islam , Hinduism , Judaism , etc.
The Church of England is the established church in England. 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.
The United Kingdom has experienced successive waves of migration. 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 , when it became second to Russian Jews. After Russian Jews suffered bitter persecutions, and, out of some 2,, who left Russia by , around , settled permanently in Britain, overtaking the Germans to be the largest ethnic minority from outside the British Isles. In the net increase was , Immigration is now contributing to a rising population  with arrivals and UK-born children of migrants accounting for about half of the population increase between and Over a quarter In , approximately , foreign nationals were naturalised as British citizens, the highest number since records began in This figure fell to around , in Between and , the average number of people granted British citizenship per year was , The British Government has 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.
Emigration was an important feature of British society in the 19th century. Between and around Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter, with each country having a separate education system. Considering the four systems together, about 38 percent 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.
Whilst 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. Two of the top ten performing schools in terms of GCSE results in were state-run grammar schools. 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.
Education 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.
The 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 Education 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.
Healthcare in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter and each country has its own system of private and publicly funded health care , together with alternative , holistic and complementary treatments. 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 , ranked the provision of healthcare in the United Kingdom as fifteenth best in Europe and eighteenth in the world. However, 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. The culture of the United Kingdom has been influenced by many factors including: The substantial cultural influence of the United Kingdom has led it to be described as a "cultural superpower".
Most British literature is in the English language. In , some , books were published in the United Kingdom and in it was the largest publisher of books in the world. The English playwright and poet William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time,    and his contemporaries Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson have also been held in continuous high esteem. Wells ; the writers of children's classics Rudyard Kipling , A.
Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene ; [ citation needed ] the crime writer Agatha Christie the best-selling novelist of all time ;  Ian Fleming the creator of James Bond ; the poets T. Rowling ; the graphic novelists Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. Scotland'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.
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. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest European poets of his age. Daniel Owen is credited as the first Welsh-language novelist, publishing Rhys Lewis in The best-known of the Anglo-Welsh poets are both Thomases.
Dylan Thomas became famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the midth 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.
Thomas was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in Authors of other nationalities, particularly from Commonwealth countries, the Republic of Ireland and the United States, have lived and worked in the UK. Various styles of music are popular in the UK from the indigenous folk music of England , Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland to heavy metal. Sir Harrison Birtwistle is one of the foremost living composers. 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.
His works have dominated London's West End since the late 20th century and have also been a commercial success worldwide. 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. 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.
As of , pop remains the most popular music genre in the UK with The history of British visual art forms part of western art history. Major British artists include: During the late s and s 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 ": 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 Courtauld Institute of Art is a leading centre for the teaching of the history of art. 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 ,  and David Lean are among the most critically acclaimed of all-time. 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.
British 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. 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.
The BBC , founded in , is the UK's publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Cardiff, are important centres of newspaper and broadcasting production in Scotland and Wales respectively.
In , it was estimated that individuals viewed a mean of 3. In that year the main BBC public service broadcasting channels accounted for an estimated 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 '. 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.
Major 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 , 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". 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. 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 , and 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. A poll found that football is the most popular sport in the United Kingdom. The English top division, the Premier League , is the most watched football league in the world. In , rugby union was ranked the second most popular sport in the UK. Sport governing bodies in England , Scotland , Wales and Ireland organise and regulate the game separately.
Cricket was invented in England, and its laws were established by Marylebone Cricket Club in 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 and Ireland is yet to play their first test match.
There is a professional league championship in which clubs representing 17 English counties and 1 Welsh county compete. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the s, before spreading around the world. The UK has proved successful in the international sporting arena in rowing. 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 premier national auto racing event is the British Touring Car Championship. Golf is the sixth most popular sport, by participation, in the UK. Rugby league originated in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in and is generally played in Northern England. Super League is the highest level of professional rugby league in the UK and Europe. The 'Queensberry rules' , the code of general rules in boxing , was named after John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry in , and formed the basis of modern boxing.
It was created in by the superimposition of the Flag of England on the Flag of Scotland and updated in 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. Britannia is a national personification of the United Kingdom, originating from Roman Britain.
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. 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. United Kingdom — Wikipedia book. Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland and Wales. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about the country. It is not to be confused with Great Britain , its largest island whose name is also loosely applied to the whole country. For other uses of "UK", see UK disambiguation. For other uses of "United Kingdom", see United Kingdom disambiguation.
Royal coat of arms [note 1]. Show map of Europe. England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland. Britain place name and Terminology of the British Isles. History of the British Isles. History of the United Kingdom. Acts of Union Political history of the United Kingdom —present and Social history of the United Kingdom —present. Geography of the United Kingdom. Skye is one of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides and part of the Scottish Highlands.
Climate of the United Kingdom. The four countries of the United Kingdom. Administrative geography of the United Kingdom. Politics of the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II , Monarch since Theresa May , Prime Minister since Government of the United Kingdom. Law of the United Kingdom.
Foreign relations of the United Kingdom. Economy of the United Kingdom. The City of London is one of the world's largest financial centres   . Science and technology in the United Kingdom.
Transport in the United Kingdom. Energy in the United Kingdom. Water supply and sanitation in the United Kingdom. Demography of the United Kingdom. Ethnic groups in the United Kingdom. Languages of the United Kingdom. Religion in the United Kingdom. Modern immigration to the United Kingdom. Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom. Education in the United Kingdom. Education in Northern Ireland. Healthcare in the United Kingdom.
Culture of the United Kingdom. Music of the United Kingdom. Rock music in the United Kingdom. Art of the United Kingdom. Cinema of the United Kingdom. Media of the United Kingdom. Sport in the United Kingdom. In the English tradition, such laws are not necessary; proclamation and usage are sufficient to make it the national anthem. 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.
Gibraltar and the British Indian Ocean Territory. 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.
Official web site of the British Royal Family. Retrieved 4 June Retrieved 12 December UK - Content design: Census reveals a picture of Britain today".
Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" PDF. United Nations Statistics Division. Retrieved 9 August Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 December Retrieved 11 November United Nations Development Programme.
Retrieved 14 September Retrieved 29 October 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. Retrieved 13 October Retrieved 22 February Archived from the original on 9 September Retrieved 8 March Retrieved 17 April 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 Transport Research Knowledge Centre.
Archived from the original on 4 April Retrieved 28 March Archived from the original on 15 October Retrieved 6 March Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 9 March The First Industrial Nation: The rise and demise of the British world order and the lessons for global power. Wirtz; Michel Fortmann State University of New York Press, Britain and World Power Since Constructing a Nation's Role in International Politics. United States of America: University of Michigan Press.
Retrieved 23 August The Standard Reference Work: Retrieved 18 July The degree you will get for these studies is the 'Bachelor's degree of arts' focused on languages, history, literature and social sciences, or the 'Bachelor's degree of sciences' for sciences, that are more concrete.
Lasting around one year, postgraduate studies give you a Masters degree; they require a lot of personal work and you would not be accepted without relevant academic results a distinction is compulsory. If you want to go further and if your student record allows you, you can apply for a PhD, the equivalent of French doctorat.
Eduniversal in the United Kingdom: Useful Sites for Studying in the United Kingdom: Cranfield School of Management - Cranfield University 2. University Of Edinburgh Business School.
Lancaster University Management School. City University Cass Business School. Durham University Business School. Aston University Aston Business School. Henley Business School - University of Reading. The Bank Charter Act gave the bank sole rights to issue notes and coins. It also acted as a lender through the 19th century in emergencies to finance banks facing collapse. The Bank of England Act nationalised it. Its current constitution, and guarantees of a degree of operational independence from government, is found in the Bank of England Act UK banking has two main parts.
Second, there are private banks, and some non-shareholder banks co-operatives, mutual or building societies , that provide credit to consumer and business clients. Borrowing money on credit and repaying the debt  later is important for people expand a business, invest in a new enterprise, or purchase valuable assets more quickly than by saving.
Every day, banks estimate the prospects of a borrower succeeding or failing, and set interest rates for debt repayments according to their predictions of the risk or average risk of ventures like it. If all banks together lend more money, this means enterprises will do more, potentially employ more people, and if business ventures are productive in the long run, society's prosperity will increase.
If banks charge interest that people cannot afford, or if banks lend too much money to ventures that are unproductive, economic growth will slow, stagnate, and sometimes crash.
Although UK banks, except the Bank of England , are shareholder or mutually owned, many countries operate public retail banks for consumers and public investment banks for business. The UK used to run Girobank for consumers, and there have been many proposals for a " British Investment Bank " like the Nordic Investment Bank or KfW in Germany since the global financial crisis of , but these proposals have not yet been accepted.
Under the Bank of England Act section 1, the bank's executive body, the "Court of Directors" is "appointed by Her Majesty ", which in effect is the Prime Minister. A sub-committee of directors sets pay for all directors,  rather than a non-conflicted body like Parliament. The Bank of England provides finance and support to, and may influence interest rates of the private banks through monetary policy.
Possibly the Bank's most important function is administering monetary policy. This affects growth and employment. To change inflation, the Bank of England has three main policy options. Outside the central bank, banks are mostly run as profit-making corporations, without meaningful representation for customers.
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