Portal:United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom Portal

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Map of the United Kingdom in the British Isles.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands within the British Isles. Northern Ireland shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea. The total area of the United Kingdom is 242,495 square kilometres (93,628 sq mi), with an estimated 2020 population of more than 67 million people.

The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 1952. The capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with a metropolitan area population of over 14 million. Other major cities include Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers.

The United Kingdom has evolved from a series of annexations, unions and separations of constituent countries over several hundred years. The Treaty of Union between the Kingdom of England (which included Wales, annexed in 1542) and the Kingdom of Scotland in 1707 formed the Kingdom of Great Britain. Its union in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which formally adopted that name in 1927.

The United Kingdom has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), and the eighth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). It has a high-income economy and a very high human development index rating, ranking 13th in the world. It also performs well in international rankings of education, healthcare, life expectancy and human development. The UK became the world's first industrialised country and was the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the UK remains one of the world's great powers, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific, technological and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear state and is ranked fourth globally in military expenditure. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.

The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the United Nations, NATO, AUKUS, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was a member state of the European Communities (EC) and its successor, the European Union (EU), from its accession in 1973 until its withdrawal in 2020 following a referendum held in 2016. (Full article...)

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Henry VIII introduced a new method of granting the Royal Assent to England

The granting of Royal Assent is the formal method by which the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, or the Sovereign's representative in Commonwealth realms, completes the process of the enactment of legislation by formally assenting to an Act of Parliament. While the power to withhold Royal Assent was once exercised often, it is almost never exercised under modern constitutional conventions. The power remains as one of the reserve powers of the monarch. The granting of the Royal Assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the Sovereign appoints Lords Commissioners who in turn announce that Royal Assent has been granted at a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace or another royal residence. Two methods of notifying the Parliament are available: the Lords Commissioners or the Sovereign's representatives may grant Assent in the presence of both Houses of Parliament; alternatively, each House may be notified separately, usually by the presiding officer. (Full article...)

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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen (born 1980) is an English international cricketer who plays domestic cricket for Hampshire County Cricket Club. Born in South Africa, Pietersen made his first-class debut for Natal. In 2001, he moved to England, joining Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, to further his opportunities to play at international level, after voicing his displeasure at the racial quota system in place in South Africa. He qualified to play for England in 2004, making his One Day International (ODI) debut in November, and his Test match debut in the 2005 Ashes series. The attacking right-handed batsman and occasional off spin bowler became the fastest batsman to reach both 1,000 and 2,000 runs in ODI cricket, and has the highest average of any England player to have played more than 20 innings of one-day cricket. In July 2008, after a century against South Africa, The Times called him "the most complete batsman in cricket". He was appointed England captain in August 2008 but resigned in January 2009, after just three Tests and nine ODIs, following a dispute with England coach Peter Moores. Pietersen has the second highest run-total from his first 25 Tests and was only the fourth player in history to score 1,000 Test runs in three consecutive calendar years. (Full article...)

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Wikinews UK

29 July 2022 –
It is reported that the first United States case of polio since 2013, which was reported last week in Rockland County, New York, was connected to traces of vaccine-derived viruses found in the United Kingdom and Israel. (ProPublica) (Stat)
25 July 2022 – Eurovision Song Contest 2023
The United Kingdom is announced as the host of next year's Eurovision Song Contest in place of this year's winners, Ukraine, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. The United Kingdom, represented by Sam Ryder, finished in second place, behind Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra, at this year's competition. Ukraine will still automatically qualify for the grand final. (BBC News)
22 July 2022 – United Kingdom–European Union relations
Brexit
The European Commission launches four new legal procedures against the United Kingdom for alleged infringements of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement relating to the passage of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill. (Al Jazeera)
20 July 2022 – 2021–2022 inflation surge
Inflation in the United Kingdom increased to 9.4% last month, breaking a 40-year record, as food and fuel prices continue to increase. (The Guardian)
20 July 2022 – 2022 United Kingdom government crisis
2022 Conservative Party leadership election

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