The United KingdomThe UK is the most fascinating country for me. We have learned a lot about its history and culture at school I got interested in it so much that I have read lots of info about this country besides my school books.
The UK is situated off the northwest coast of Europe between the Atlantic Ocean on the north and northwest and the North Sea on the east and is separated from the European continent by the English Channel and the Strait of Dover.
Britain forms the greater part of the British Isles. The full name of the country is the United kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The area of the UK totals 2 hundred 44 thousand square miles.
The scenery in the Britain Isles varies greatly from region to region. There are moors and mountains, lakes and forests. The longest river in the UK is the river Severn, but the Thames is the deepest and the most important.
The highest mountain in the UK is Ben Nevis in S. It is 1 thousand 3 hundred 44 meters high.
The British climate has three main features: it is mild, humid and changeable. The English sometimes say that they have three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the afternoon, or when it rains all day long.
Over 57 million people live in UK. About 48 million people live in E, 5 million live in S, 3 million live in W and 1,5 million people live in Northern Ireland. For centuries people from overseas have settled in Britain either to escape political or religion persecution or in search of economic opportunities.
Each country in the British Isles has a national symbol. The E's symbol is rose, S has thistle, W has daffodil and shamrock is the emblem of Ireland.
The state system of the UK is very interesting. It is a parliamentary monarchy. It means that the head of the state is a queen or a king who rains but doesn't rule. The legislative power belongs to the parliament. The parliament consists of two houses which are the house of lords and the house of commons. The head of the house of lords is lord-chancellor. One can become a member of the house of lords by heritage or by receiving the title of "sir", "duke" and so on by a queen or a king.
The members of the house of commons are elected. The party which has the majority in the parliament forms the government. The government consists of the prime minister and his cabinet. The executive power belongs to the government. The party which has the minority in the parliament forms the shadow cabinet.
The flag of the UK, known as the Union Jack, is made up of three crosses. The upright red cross is the cross of St. George, the patron saint of E. The white diagonal cross (with the arms going into the corners) is the cross of St. Andrew, the patron saint of S. The red diagonal cross is the cross of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. St. David is the patron saint of W.
GB is one of the most important commercial and trading centres in the world. But Britain buys more goods then she sells. Not being a great agricultural country E has to obtain her food supplies largely from abroad. She also has to import many raw materials (wool, petrol, cotton).