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United Kingdom


    • Names:

        conventional long form:
        United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

        conventional short form:
        United Kingdom

    • Abbreviation:
      UK

    • Digraph:
      UK

    • Type:
      constitutional monarchy

    • Capital:
      London

    • Administrative divisions:
      47 counties, 7 metropolitan counties, 26 districts, 9 regions, and 3 islands areas

        England:
        39 counties, 7 metropolitan counties*; Avon, Bedford, Berkshire, Buckingham, Cambridge, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cornwall, Cumbria, Derby, Devon, Dorset, Durham, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucester, Greater London*, Greater Manchester*, Hampshire, Hereford and Worcester, Hertford, Humberside, Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicester, Lincoln, Merseyside*, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Nottingham, Oxford, Shropshire, Somerset, South Yorkshire*, Stafford, Suffolk, Surrey, Tyne and Wear*, Warwick, West Midlands*, West Sussex, West Yorkshire*, Wiltshire

        Northern Ireland:
        26 districts; Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Londonderry, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane

        Scotland:
        9 regions, 3 islands areas*; Borders, Central, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Grampian, Highland, Lothian, Orkney*, Shetland*, Strathclyde, Tayside, Western Isles*

        Wales:
        8 counties; Clwyd, Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Mid Glamorgan, Powys, South Glamorgan, West Glamorgan

    • Dependent areas:
      Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong (scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region of China on 1 July 1997), Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

    • Independence:
      1 January 1801 (United Kingdom established)

    • National holiday:
      Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June)

    • Constitution:
      unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

    • Legal system:
      common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences; no judicial review of Acts of Parliament; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    • Suffrage:
      18 years of age; universal

    • Executive branch:

        chief of state:
        Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the Queen, born 14 November 1948)

        head of government:
        Prime Minister John MAJOR (since 28 November 1990)

        cabinet:
        Cabinet of Ministers

    • Legislative branch:
      bicameral Parliament

        House of Lords:
        consists of a 1,200-member body, four-fifths are hereditary peers, 2 archbishops, 24 other senior bishops, serving and retired Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, other life peers, Scottish peers

        House of Commons:
        elections last held 9 April 1992 (next to be held by NA April 1997); results - Conservative 41.9%, Labor 34.5%, Liberal Democratic 17.9%, other 5.7%; seats - (651 total) Conservative 336, Labor 271, Liberal Democratic 20, other 24

    • Judicial branch:
      House of Lords

    • Political parties and leaders:
      Conservative and Unionist Party, John MAJOR; Labor Party, Anthony (Tony) Blair; Liberal Democrats (LD), Jeremy (Paddy) ASHDOWN; Scottish National Party, Alex SALMOND; Welsh National Party (Plaid Cymru), Dafydd Iwan WIGLEY; Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland), James MOLYNEAUX; Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland), Rev. Ian PAISLEY; Ulster Popular Unionist Party (Northern Ireland); Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP, Northern Ireland), John HUME; Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland), Gerry ADAMS

    • Other political or pressure groups:
      Trades Union Congress; Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers' Union; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

    • Member of:
      AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EBRD, EC, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, FAO, G- 5, G- 7, G-10, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OECD, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNPROFOR, UNRWA, UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, ZC

    • Diplomatic representation in US:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Sir Robin William RENWICK

        chancery:
        3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

        telephone:
        [1] (202) 462-1340

        FAX:
        [1] (202) 898-4255

        consulate(s) general:
        Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco,

        consulate(s):
        Dallas, Miami, and Seattle

    • US diplomatic representation:

        chief of mission:
        Ambassador Adm. William W. CROWE

        embassy:
        24/31 Grosvenor Square, London, W. 1A1AE

        mailing address:
        PSC 801, Box 40, FPO AE 09498-4040

        telephone:
        [44] (71) 499-9000

        FAX:
        [44] (71) 409-1637

        consulate(s) general:
        Belfast, Edinburgh

    • Flag:
      blue with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); known as the Union Flag or Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including dependencies, Commonwealth countries, and others






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