About the United Kingdom (Officially - The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland):
The United Kingdom, consisting of Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland ) and Northern Ireland, is twice the size of New York State. England is separated from Scotland on the north by the granite Cheviot Hills. To the west along the border of Wales are the Cambrian Mountains.
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy (with a queen) and a parliamentary democracy – this means the government is elected by the people. Parliament has two houses: the House of Lords (whose main function is to revise legislation) and the House of Commons. Supreme legislative power is vested in Parliament which sits for five years unless dissolved sooner.
The Prime Minister leads the government with the support of the cabinet and ministers. The executive power of the Crown is exercised by the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister.
"Devolved Administrations" for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
As well as the central UK government, there are three ‘devolved administrations’ for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are responsible for many domestic policy issues such as health, education, culture, the environment, and transport.
European Union and BREXIT
Although the UK has been a member of the European Union in the past, a referendum vote in June 2016 passed that the UK leave the EU (Brexit as it is called - refers to Britain exiting the EU - hence, BR-EXIT). For the UK to leave the EU, it has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which gives the two sides two years to agree to the terms of the split. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887
According to a March 2016 report from the UK regarding Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs:
- 71% of the land in the UK is used for farming
- 19% of the land is used for arable crops (such as wheat and barley)
- The UK is approximately 68% self-sufficient in foods that be grown internally
Sports and Literature
Sports and literature are among the United Kingdom's cultural claims to fame. Soccer, rugby, cricket, boxing, and golf were all invented in Britain. And the U.K. has produced many great writers, including William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Robert Burns. J.K. Rowling, the writer of the Harry Potter books, is British.
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