October 25, 2021
The United Kingdom (in English, United Kingdom), [note 1] officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) [note 2] or in abbreviated form RU (in English, UK), is a sovereign and island country located northwest of continental Europe. Its territory is geographically formed by the island of Great Britain, the northeast of the island of Ireland and small adjacent islands. Since the independence of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland has been the only part of the country with a land border, until the inauguration of the Eurotunnel that connects the island of Great Britain with France and the European mainland by land. Great Britain borders the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Irish Sea to the west. The United Kingdom is a unitary state comprised of four constituent nations: Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.  It is governed by a parliamentary system with the seat of government and capital in London, but with three decentralized national administrations in Edinburgh , Cardiff and Belfast, the capitals of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, respectively. It is a parliamentary monarchy, with Elizabeth II being the head of state. Colloquially and erroneously it is called Great Britain and England, a consequence of the greater weight of both (territory and kingdom, respectively) within the State. The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands - Jersey and Guernsey - and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom, although the British Government is responsible for their defense and international relations.  The United Kingdom has fourteen overseas territories, all of them vestiges of what was once the British Empire, which in its international territory reached and covered nearly one fifth of the world's land surface. Elizabeth II continues to be the head of the Commonwealth of Nations and head of state of each of the Kingdoms of the Commonwealth. It is a developed country that, due to its net volume of gross domestic product, is the sixth world economy (for its nominal GDP) and the ninth for its PPP GDP. It was the first industrialized country in the world  and the main world power during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century  (1815-1945), but the economic cost of the two world wars and the decline of its empire in the second part of the twentieth century diminished its role in international relations. However, it still maintains significant economic, cultural, military and political influence, and is a nuclear power. He was a member of the European Union between 1973 and 2020, from which he left in the process known as Brexit. [Note 3] He is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the right to veto, a member of the G7, G20, NATO, OECD, UKUSA, Commonwealth of Nations and Common Travel Area.