Great Britain

Britain lies off north – west coast of Europe across the English Channel, the Strait of Dover and the north sea. It consists of two large islands – Great Britain and Northern Ireland - and about 5000 smaller ones. E.G.: the Hebrides, the Orkneys and the Shetlands. It covers the area 250 000 sq km.The United Kingdom of Great Britainand Northern Ireland means England (London), Scotland (Edinburgh), Wales (Cardiff) and Northern Ireland (Belfast). The capital city of whole Britain is London. Other large cities are Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, Bradford, Manchester and Bristol.
The main mountains regions are in the North and East of Britain. The higest mountains are the Highlands of Scotland with the higest mountain Ben Nevis – 1300 m. The lowlands and flat are in the south of Britain.
The major rivers are Thame, Humber, Tees, Tyde, Avon, Mersey, clyde and the longest river is Shannon. There are beautiful lake areas. Among the best known lakes rank Loch Ness, Loch Lomond and Lake Windermere. British Isles have midl climate ( midl winters and not very hot summers ) due to the Gulf Steam.
The population of Great Britain is nearly 60 million. About 80% are English, 10% Scottish, 2% Irish, 2 % Wales and 2% are the Ulster – it is Indian, Pakistan, Jews, Italian, Chinese and so on. The majority of people speak English.
The main industries are steel, metals, vehiclec, shipbuilding, shipping, banking, textiles, electronics, aircraft and machinery.30 of land is arable and the main agriculture products are grains, sugar beel, fruit and vegetables. Worldknown British catlle and sheep breeding earn lost of money. Britain's natural riches are mainly coal, tin, oil, gas, limestone, iron, salt, clay, chalk and lead.
Only 2 % of labour force work in agriculture, 30% work in manufacturing and engineering about 59% work in services.
Currncy valid in Britain is Pound which has 100 pence.
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy which the Queen Elizabeth II. as the head of state. She's also the head of Army and of Church of England.The Queen must be informed of all government duesions, but her functions are just symbolical. Commonwealth: Canada, Australia, New Zealand + other territories.
The supreme law – making body in the country is Parliament. It consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. British parliamentary system is one of the oldest in the world, it developed during 13 th century.
The House of Commons has 651 elected and paid members of Parliament (MPs). The House of Lords is made up of hereditary (830) and life peers (270), 2 archbishops and 24 bishops of the Church of England.
General elections to choose Members of Parliament are every five years. Voting is from the age of 18.
Political parties are the Conservative Party, the Labourists and the Liberals.
The Government is formed by the party which has majority in Parliament and the Queen appoints its leader as the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister appoints a team of main ministers as the Cabinet (about 20 people). Now is the Prime Minister Tony Blair. Every Prime Minister live at Downing street 10.
British national flag is sometimes called „The Union Jack“. It symbolizes the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland.

National anthem is „God Save the Queen“.

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