About the UK

About The UK

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It is an island country, spanning an archipelago including Great Britain, the northeastern part of Ireland, and many small islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel.

The UK is a developed country, with the world’s sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and the seventh largest by purchasing power parity. It was the world’s first industrialised country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries, but the economic cost of two world wars and the decline of its empire in the latter half of the 20th century diminished its leading role in global affairs.

The UK nevertheless remains a major power with strong economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and has the third highest defence spending in the world. It is a Member State of the European Union, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, G8, G20, NATO, OECD, and the WTO.