United Kingdom

About United Kingdom

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Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)
Independent Television Commission (ITC) British Film Commission (BFC)
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General Teaching Council for England (GTC)
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Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD)
United Kingdomside Agency
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National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)
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English Nature
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communications Agency (RA)

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA)
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Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
British Antarctic Survey (BAS)
British Geological Survey (BGS)
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Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)
Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CLRC)
Simpler Trade Procedures Board (SITPRO)
National Consumer Council (NCC)
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Design Council
Companies House (CH)
National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML)
British National Space Centre (BNSC)
Low Pay Commission (LPC)
Postal Services Commission (PSC)
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Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR)
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB)
Marine Accidents Investigation Branch (MAIB)
Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
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Highways Agency Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
Strategic Rail Authority (SRA)
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL)
Planning Inspectorate
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Ordnance Survey
English Partnerships
British Railways Board (BRB)
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Corporation of Trinity House
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Audit Commission Local Government Commission for England (LGCE)
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Her Majesty's Treasury (HMT)
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British Royal Mint
Office of Government Commerce (OGC)The Buying Agency (TBA)
Property Advisers to the Civil Estate (PACE)
Debt Management Office (DMO)
National Investment and Loans Office (NILO)
National Debt Office (NDO)
Office of HM Paymaster General (OPG)
Public Works Loan Board (PWLB)
Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
Financial Services Authority (FSA)
National Savings
Wales Office
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
Analytical Services Directorate (ASD)
Employment Service (ES)
Appeals Service
Child Support Agency (CSA)
Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA)
Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI)
Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board (DLAAB)
Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC)
Disability Rights Commission (DRC)
Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)
Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC)
Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
Serious Fraud Office (SFO)
Treasury Solicitor's Department
Privy Council Office
Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre (HMGCC)
Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST)
Office of the Civil Service Commissioners (OCSC)
Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)
Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
Advisory Committees on Tele-
communications (ACT)

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)
Office of Water Services (OFWAT)
Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR)
Independent Review Service for the Social Fund
Bank of England
Electoral Commission
Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and the Health Service Commissioners
National Audit Office (NAO)
Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA)
Social Security and Child Support Commissioners
VAT and Duties Tribunals, Special Commissioners and the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal
Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)
United Kingdom - Geography

Official Name: United Kingdom of Great Britain
Capital City: London
Languages: English, Welsh, and the Scottish form of Gaelic
Official Currency: Pound Sterling
Religions: Anglican, Catholic, others
Population: 59,247,000
Land Area: 241,600 sq km
Landforms: The island is mostly rugged hills with low, granite mountains (Pennines run north to south) (Cambrian Mountains in Wales). Rolling plains and flatter land in east and southeast. The Severn and Thames are major rivers
Land Divisions: (UK Administrative divisions) 47 counties, 7 metropolitan counties, 26 districts, 9 regions and 3 islands areas (England) 39 counties and 7 metropolitan counties (Scotland) 9 regions, 3 islands areas (Wales) 9 counties
UK Dependent areas: (no longer called colonies) Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

United Kingdom - History

In the first milenium B. C. the teritory of United Kingdom is populated by celtic tribes (Britons). In first century a big part of country is conquered by Rome. In V-VII century Britain is conquered by North-Germanic tribes Angles, Saxes, Jutes and Frisians, which form several kingdoms here. In 829 a large part of the country is united in a single state England. In 1066 it is invaded by the Normans. William I Conqueror becomes English king (till 1087). With the creation of the Parliament (1265) England is formed as estate monarchy. After The Hundred-year war (1337-1453) the English crown loose its lands in France. During the war, in 1381 a revolt of Wot Tylor expells. After the war between the Red and the White Rose (1455-1485) , continuous feudal civil war, the dynasty of Tudores is established (1485-1603) which imposed absolutism. The English Burgeois revolution (1640-1660) strngthens the position of capitalism and establishes burgeois system in the coutry. The parties of Vigues and Tores appear (later -Liberal and Conservative parties). Since 1707, the official name of the United Kingdom becomes United Kingdom of Great Britain. As a result of successful wars of conquest during three centuries (17, 18, and 19) at the end of 19 century Great Britain rules over 1/4 of the teritory of the world (including India, New Zeeland, South Africa etc.) During WW2 it is a part of the anti-fashiste coalition. After WW2, the British colonial empire disintegrates. Great Britain is member of UNO(1945), NATO (1949) and EU (1973).

United Kingdom - Economy

The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest economy in the world and the second-largest economy in the European Union. GDP (at current market prices, 2003 est.): $1.664 trillion. Annual growth rate (2003 est.): 2.1%. Per capita GDP (2003 est.): $27,700.
The economy is made up of (in order of how much they contribute), the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are about 3.7 million companies in the UK.
Natural resources: coal, oil, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica.
The UK has large coal, natural gas, and oil reserves. Primary energy production accounts for 10% of GDP, one of the highest shares of any industrial nation. Due to North Sea oil, during the 1990s the UK became a net hydrocarbon exporter, and the second largest producer of oil in Western Europe after Norway. Around about 80% of UK electricity is currently generated from fossil fuels. Nuclear power and an increasing contribution from wind turbines make up the bulk of the remainder. The UK is the world's 8th greatest producer of carbon emissions, producing around 2.3% of the total generated from fossil fuels. Due to the island location of the UK, the country has great potential for generating electricity from offshore windfarms, wave power and tidal power, although these have not yet been exploited on a commercial basis.
Industry: steel, heavy engineering and metal manufacturing, textiles, motor vehicles and aircraft, construction (5.2% of GDP), electronics, chemicals. Manufacturing continues to decline in importance. In the 1960s and 70s much of the UK's heavy manufacturing industry was government run and had failed to respond to world markets. State industries were sold off and over the 20th century many (and others) closed as it was unable to compete.Since 1979, the British Government has privatized most state-owned companies, including British Steel, British Airways, British Telecom, British Coal, British Aerospace, and British Gas, although in some cases the government retains a "golden share" in these companies. The Labour government has continued the privatization policy of its predecessor, including by encouraging "public-private partnerships" (partial privatization) in such areas as the National Air Traffic Control System.
Agriculture and fishing (1.1% of GDP): cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables, cattle, sheep, poultry, fish. Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanised, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labour force. It contributes around 2% of GDP. Around two thirds of production is devoted to livestock, one third to arable crops. The main crops that are grown are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits and vegetables. The livestock which are raised are cattle and sheep. The UK is one of the world’s leading fishing nations. Its fleets bring home fish of every kind, ranging from sole to herring. Kingston upon Hull, Grimsby, Fleetwood, Great Yarmouth, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, and Lowestoft are among the coastal towns that have large fishing industries.
The service sector is the dominant sector of the UK economy. About 75% of British jobs are in service industries – hotels, restaurants, travel, shopping and computer and finances. It employs over 20 million people.
London is the world's largest financial centre, with financial services based around two districts 'The City' (the City of London) and the Docklands (particularly around Canary Wharf). The City houses the London Stock Exchange (shares and bonds), Lloyds of London (insurance), and the Bank of England. The Docklands began development in the 1980s and is now home to the Financial Services Authority, as well as several important financial institutions (such as Barclays Bank and Citigroup). There are now over 500 banks with offices in the City and Docklands, with the majority of business in London being conducted on an international basis, with established leads in areas such as Eurobonds, Foreign exchange markets, and global insurance. Edinburgh also has a long established financial industry, with a large number of domestic firms (Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland) and international firms. The Scottish Stock Exchange is part of the London Stock Exchange, but maintains a distinct culture.
Tourism is the 6th largest industry in the UK, contributing 76 billion pounds to the economy. It employs 1,800,000 full-time equivalent people — 6.1% of the working population.
Exports of goods and services (2003 est.) - $304.5 billion: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, food, beverages, tobacco. Major markets - USA, EU. Imports of goods and services - $363.6 billion: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, foodstuffs. Major suppliers - USA, EU, Japan.
The cost of houses is rising and has increased much faster than people’s wages. The average annual wage in 2003 was 20 000 pounds whilst the average home over 120 000 pounds. The average cost of houses in 2005 is 182 920 pounds.

United Kingdom - Culture

The United Kingdom contains some of the world's leading universities, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and the University of London (which incorporates, amongst others, King's College London, Imperial College London, The London School of Economics and University College London). In the UK, there are two types of schools, Public Schools and State Schools. Public schools are typically funded by the individual whom attends it, making it a more popular choice among the more wealthy citizens. State schools, however, are funded by the government through taxes.
It has produced many great scholars, scientists and engineers including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, James Clark Maxwell, Lord Kelvin, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel; the nation is credited with many inventions including the locomotive, vaccination, television, the railway, and both the internal combustion and the jet engine. In 2006, it was reported that the UK was the most productive source of research after the United States; with the UK producing, for instance, 9% of the world's scientific research papers with a 12% share of citations.
Playwright William Shakespeare is arguably the most famous writer in the history of the English language. Other well-known writers from the United Kingdom include the Bronte sisters (Charlotte, Emily, and Anne), William Thackeray, John Milton, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Orwell. Important poets include Lord Byron, Robert Burns.
The UK was, with the US, one of the two main contributors in the development of rock and roll, and the UK has provided some of the most famous rock stars, including The Beatles, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and many others. The UK was at the forefront of punk rock music in the 1970s with bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, and the subsequent rebirth of heavy metal with bands such as Motorhead and Iron Maiden.

United Kingdom -- Political system, law and government --

Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy in which the power of the king is formal. The king has mainly representative functions. The politics of the United Kingdom are based upon a unitary state country that is governed constitutionally as one single unit, with one constitutionally created legislature and a constitutional monarchy. The head of state and theoretical source of executive, judicial and legislative power in the UK is the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.
By convention, the monarch chooses the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons to become the Prime Minister, even though in theory the monarch possesses the right to choose any British citizen to be her Prime Minister, even if they are not an MP or a member of the House of Lords. The monarch grants Royal Assent to a Bill from Parliament, albeit theoretically (s)he possesses the ability to refrain from doing so. The Royal Assent is almost never refused, in accordance with contemporary constitutional conventions. The monarch dissolves Parliament at the time suggested by the Prime Minister, though in theory the Sovereign holds the right to dissolve parliament whenever s/he wishes. Other royal powers called royal prerogative, such as patronage to appoint ministers and the ability to declare war, are exercised by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
Today the Sovereign has an essentially ceremonial role restricted in exercise of power by convention and public opinion, though the monarch does exercise three essential rights: the right to be consulted, the right to advise and the right to warn. Prime ministers have weekly confidential meetings with the monarch. In practical terms, the political head of the UK is the Prime Minister (Tony Blair since May 2, 1997).
The Government performs the Executive functions of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister appointed by the monarch selects the other Ministers which make up the Government and act as political heads of the various Government Departments. About twenty of the most senior government ministers make up the Cabinet. As in other Parliamentary systems of government, the executive (called "the government") is drawn from and is answerable to Parliament - a successful vote of no confidence will force the government either to resign or to seek a parliamentary dissolution and a general election. In practice members of parliament of all major parties are strictly controlled by "whips" who try to ensure they vote according to party policy. If the government has a large majority, then they are very unlikely to lose many votes when voting on legislation. Governments with a small majority, or coalition governments, are much more vulnerable.
Parliament is the centre of the political system in the United Kingdom. It is the supreme legislative body (parliamentary sovereignty), and Government is drawn from and answerable to it. Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. House of Commons The UK is divided into parliamentary constituencies of broadly equal population each of which elects a Member of Parliament to the House of Commons. There almost always is a party with an outright majority of MPs in the House. In modern times, all Prime Ministers and Leaders of the Opposition have been drawn from the Commons, not the Lords. Parliament meets at the Palace of Westminster.
The House of Lords was previously a hereditary, aristocratic chamber. Major reform has been partially completed and it is currently a mixture of hereditary members, bishops of the Church of England and appointed members (life peers, with no hereditary right for their descendants to sit in the House). It currently acts to review legislation formed by the House of Commons, with the power to propose amendments, and exercises a suspensive veto — it can delay legislation it does not approve of for twelve months. However, the use of vetoes is limited by convention — the Lords may not veto the "money bills", or major manifesto promises. The House of Lords is currently also the final court of appeal within the United Kingdom, although in practice only a small subset of the House of Lords, known as the Law Lords, hears judicial cases. However, the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 outlines plans for a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to replace the role of the Law Lords.
The UK is divided into a variety of different types of Local Authorities, which are further subdivided in rural areas and some urban areas into parishes. The vast Council, together head the Local Authority. In addition to Local Authorities there are several public safety authorities - Police, Fire Service, Ambulance, Coast Guard, Mountain Rescue - independent from the councils whose borders generally coincide with those of the authorities they serve. Local Authorities are responsible for such matters as administering education, public transport, and the management of public spaces. Local authorities are often engaged in community politics.
The United Kingdom is a member of the European Union (EU). As such, UK citizens elect Members of the European Parliament to represent them in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg. The UK elects 78 MEPs. In recent years, there have been divisions in both major parties as to whether the UK should form greater ties within the EU, leave things as they are, or reduce the EU's supranational powers. Opponents of greater European integration are known as Eurosceptics, supporters Pro-Europeans. The strong showing of the eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in the 2004 European Parliament elections has shifted the debate over UK relations with the EU, with perhaps a third of the electorate supportive of leaving the EU.

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Regional Institutions - England
Government Office for the East of England (GO-East)
Government Office for the East Midlands (GO-EM)
Government Office for London (GOL)
Government Office for the North East (GO-NE)
Government Office for the North West (GO-NW)
Government Office for the South East (GO-SE)
Government Office for the South West (GO-SW)
Government Office for the West Midlands (GO-WM)
Government Office for Yorkshire and The Humber (GO-YH)
English Tourist Board
Cumbria Tourist Board
East of England Tourist Board
Northumbria Tourist Board
South East England Tourist Board
West United Kingdom Tourist Board
Yorkshire Tourist Board
Regional Institutions - Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Government
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Human Rights Unit
Public Service Reform Unit
Service First Unit
Central Information Technology Unit (CITU)
Northern Ireland Economic Council (NIEC)
Equality Commission for Northern Ireland
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)
Agri-Food Development Service (AFDS)
Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ARINI)
Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC)
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL)
Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI)
Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI)
Northern Ireland Museums Council (NIMC)
Sports Council for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Film Commission (NIFC)
Department of Education (DE)
Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA)
Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE)
Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI)
Local Enterprise Development Unit (LEDU)
Industrial Research and Technology Unit (IRTU)
Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI)
Trading Standards Service
Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB)
General Consumer Council (GCC)
Department of the Environment (DoE)
Environment and Heritage Service (EHS)
Planning Service
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI)
Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA)
Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP)
European Division
Business Development Service (BDS)
Government Purchasing Agency (GPA)
Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA)
General Register Office (Northern Ireland)
Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA)
Rate Collection Agency (RCA)
Public Service Office (PSO)
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS)
Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) Health Estates Agency (HEA)
Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland (HPA)
National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting for Northern Ireland (NBNI)
Department for Employment and Learning (DEL)
Northern Ireland Higher Education Council (NIHEC)
Department for Regional Development (DRD)
Water Service
Roads Service
Department for Social Development (DSD)
Social Security Agency (SSA)
Northern Ireland Housing Executive
Labour Relations Agency
Office for the Regulation of Electricity & Gas (OFREG)
Planning Appeals Commission (PAC)
Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC)
Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO)
Office of the Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Political Parties
Labour Party
Scottish Labour Party
Welsh Labour Party / Plaid Llafur Cymru
Bristol West Labour Party
Greater London Labour Party
Maidstone Labour Party
Sheffield Labour Party
Conservative Party
Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party
Welsh Conservative Party
Aylesbury Conservative Association
City of Cambridge Conservative Association
Islington North Conservative Association
North Dorset Conservative Association
Wells Conservative Association
West Oxfordshire Conservative Association
Woking Constituency Conservative Association
Liberal Democrats
Scottish Liberal Democrats
Welsh Liberal Democrats / Democratiad Rhyddfrydol Cymru
Bedford & Kempston Liberal Democrats
Cambridge Liberal Democrats
Rutland & Melton Liberal Democrats
Vauxhall Liberal Democrats
Winchester Liberal Democrats
Scottish National Party (SNP)
Party of Wales / Plaid Cymru
Barry Branch
Preseli Pembrokeshire Branch
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) / Páirtí Sóisialta Daonlathach an Lucht Oibre
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)
Sinn Féin
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC)
Progressive Unionst Party (PUP)
Northern Ireland Unionist Party (NIUP)
Labour Northern Ireland
Workers Party
Green Party of England and Wales
Wales Green Party / Plaid Werdd Cymru
Brighton and Hove Green Party Bristol Green Party
Scottish Green Party / Pàrtaidh Uaine na h-Alba
United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
Co-operative Party
Liberal Party
Socialist Party
Leicester Branch
Reading Branch
Sheffield Branch
Socialist Labour Party
Socialist Equality Party (SEP)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Socialist Party of Great Britain
Scottish Socialist Party (SSP)
Socialist Party in Northern Ireland
Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB)
Communist Party of Britain (CPB)
London District Committee
New Communist Party of Britain (NCP)
Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (RCPB(ML))
Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP)
Communist Party of Scotland (CPS)
British National Party (BNP)
Natural Law Party
Natural Law Party Wessex
Humanist Party
Humanist Party in Scotland
British Republican Party (BRP)
British Centre Party
English National Party (ENP)
Democratic Party (DP)
Albion Party
Islamic Party of Britain
Official Monster Raving Loony Party (O.M.R.L.P.)
Mebyon Kernow
Third Way
Prolife Alliance
National Front (NF)
Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA)
Pacifist Party
UK Virtual Party
Other Institutions
Local Government Association (LGA) Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
Local Government Information Unit (LGIU)
Local Authorities Coordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS)
Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA)
British Standards Institution (BSI)
General Information
The World Factbook
Atlapedia Online
Information Please: Countries of the World
Political Information
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