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AND NORTHERN IRELAND
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands Great Britain and Ireland and about five thousand small islands. Their total area is over 244 000 square kilometres.
The United Kingdom is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales and does not include Northern Ireland. The capital of the United Kingdom is London.
The British Isles are separated from the European continent by the North Sea and the Irish Sea.
The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous, and is called the Highlands, while the south is called the Lowlands. The north and west of England are mountainous, but all the rest - east, center and south-east is a vast plain. Mountains are not very high. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain (134 m).
There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river. The Thames is the deepest and the most important river. The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influence the climate of the British Isles. It is mild the whole year round.
The UK is one of the world’s smaller countries. Its population is over 58 million. The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, the Head of the State is the Queen. In practice, the Queen reigns, but does not rule. The country is ruled by the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head. The British Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
There are three main parties in Great Britain: the Labour, the Conservative and the Liberal parties. The Prime Minister is Gordon Brown.
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