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As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe.

A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside the European Monetary Union for the time being.

K.'s Labour Government, led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, began and ended 2008 narrowly behind the Conservatives in the opinion polls.

In the summer months, however, Labour's support—and Brown's personal ratings—slumped so low that some of the party's MPs started calling openly for his resignation.

Over the past two decades the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs.

Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force.

Critics point out, however, that the economy is thriving outside of EMU, and they point to public opinion polls that continue to show a majority of Britons opposed to the single currency.

GDP: purchasing power parity -

As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe.A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside the European Monetary Union for the time being.

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As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, a founding member of NATO, and of the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy; it currently is weighing the degree of its integration with continental Europe.

A member of the EU, it chose to remain outside the European Monetary Union for the time being.

K.'s Labour Government, led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, began and ended 2008 narrowly behind the Conservatives in the opinion polls.

In the summer months, however, Labour's support—and Brown's personal ratings—slumped so low that some of the party's MPs started calling openly for his resignation.

Over the past two decades the government has greatly reduced public ownership and contained the growth of social welfare programs.

Agriculture is intensive, highly mechanized, and efficient by European standards, producing about 60% of food needs with only 1% of the labor force.

Critics point out, however, that the economy is thriving outside of EMU, and they point to public opinion polls that continue to show a majority of Britons opposed to the single currency.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.47 trillion (2001 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2001 est.) GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,700 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1.7% industry: 24.9% services: 73.4% (1999) Population below poverty line: 17% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2.6% percentage share: highest 10%: 27.3% (1991) Distribution of family income - Gini 36.1 (1991) index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.8% (2001 est.) Labor force: 29.7 million (2001) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 1%, industry 25%, services 74% (1999) Unemployment rate: 5.1% (2001 est.) Budget: revenues: $565 billion expenditures: $540 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY01) Industries: machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, and other consumer goods Industrial production growth rate: -1.6% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 355.761 billion k Wh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 73.26% hydro: 1.46% other: 2.31% (2000) nuclear: 22.97% Electricity - consumption: 345.032 billion k Wh (2000) Electricity - exports: 134 million k Wh (2000) Electricity - imports: 14.308 billion k Wh (2000) Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish Exports: $287 billion (f.o.b., 2001) Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco Exports - partners: EU 54% (Germany 11%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%, Ireland 7%), US 15% (2000) Imports: $337 billion (c.i.f., 2001) Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs Imports - partners: EU 48% (Germany 11%, France 7%, Netherlands 6%), US 13%, Japan 5% (2000) Debt - external: $NA Economic aid - donor: ODA, $4.5 billion (2000) Currency: British pound (GBP) Currency code: GBP Exchange rates: British pounds per US dollar - 0.6981 (January 2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997) Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March Communications United Kingdom - Telephones - main lines in use: 34.878 million (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 13 million (yearend 1998) Telephone system: general assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems international: 40 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers Radio broadcast stations: AM 219, FM 431, shortwave 3 (1998) Radios: 84.5 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 228 (plus 3,523 repeaters) (1995) Televisions: 30.5 million (1997) Internet country code: Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 245 (2000) Internet users: 33 million (2001) Transportation United Kingdom - Railways: total: 16,878 km standard gauge: 16,536 km 1.435- m gauge (4,928 km electrified; 12,591 km double- or multiple- tracked) broad gauge: 342 km 1.600-m gauge (190 km double-tracked) note: all 1.600-m gauge track is in common carrier service in Northern Ireland (1996) Highways: total: 371,603 km paved: 371,603 km (including 3,303 km of expressways) unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.) Waterways: 3,200 km Pipelines: crude oil (almost all insignificant) 933 km; petroleum products 2,993 km; natural gas 12,800 km Ports and harbors: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover, Falmouth, Felixstowe, Glasgow, Grangemouth, Hull, Leith, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Peterhead, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Scapa Flow, Southampton, Sullom Voe, Tees, Tyne Merchant marine: total: 212 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,308,232 GRT/4,171,757 DWT ships by type: bulk 7, cargo 32, chemical tanker 13, combination ore/ oil 1, container 53, liquefied gas 3, passenger 13, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 26, short- sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 1 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Bermuda 1, Cyprus 1, Denmark 21, Germany 6, Greece 3, Hong Kong 4, Italy 1, Monaco 4, Netherlands 1, Norway 9, Russia 1, South Africa 2, Sweden 11, Taiwan 2, United States 5 (2002 est.) Airports: 470 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 332 over 3,047 m: 8 2,438 to 3,047 m: 33 914 to 1,523 m: 84 under 914 m: 57 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 150 Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 138 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 23 under 914 m: 114 (2001) Heliports: 13 (2001) Military United Kingdom - Military branches: Army, Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), Royal Air Force Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 14,632,418 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 12,151,734 (2002 service: est.) Military expenditures - dollar figure: $31.7 billion (2002) Military expenditures - percent of 2.32% (2002) GDP: Transnational Issues United Kingdom - Disputes - international: Spain and UK are discussing "total shared sovereignty" over Gibraltar, subject to a constitutional referendum by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form of cession to Spain; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius, but in 2001 were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation since eviction in 1965; Argentina claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark and Iceland; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; disputes with Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM Illicit drugs: gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; major consumer of synthetic drugs, producer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin; money- laundering center * * * The U.

.47 trillion (2001 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 2.4% (2001 est.) GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - ,700 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1.7% industry: 24.9% services: 73.4% (1999) Population below poverty line: 17% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2.6% percentage share: highest 10%: 27.3% (1991) Distribution of family income - Gini 36.1 (1991) index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.8% (2001 est.) Labor force: 29.7 million (2001) Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 1%, industry 25%, services 74% (1999) Unemployment rate: 5.1% (2001 est.) Budget: revenues: 5 billion expenditures: 0 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY01) Industries: machine tools, electric power equipment, automation equipment, railroad equipment, shipbuilding, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, electronics and communications equipment, metals, chemicals, coal, petroleum, paper and paper products, food processing, textiles, clothing, and other consumer goods Industrial production growth rate: -1.6% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 355.761 billion k Wh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 73.26% hydro: 1.46% other: 2.31% (2000) nuclear: 22.97% Electricity - consumption: 345.032 billion k Wh (2000) Electricity - exports: 134 million k Wh (2000) Electricity - imports: 14.308 billion k Wh (2000) Agriculture - products: cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, poultry; fish Exports: 7 billion (f.o.b., 2001) Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco Exports - partners: EU 54% (Germany 11%, France 9%, Netherlands 7%, Ireland 7%), US 15% (2000) Imports: 7 billion (c.i.f., 2001) Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels; foodstuffs Imports - partners: EU 48% (Germany 11%, France 7%, Netherlands 6%), US 13%, Japan 5% (2000) Debt - external: $NA Economic aid - donor: ODA, .5 billion (2000) Currency: British pound (GBP) Currency code: GBP Exchange rates: British pounds per US dollar - 0.6981 (January 2002), 0.6944 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997) Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March Communications United Kingdom - Telephones - main lines in use: 34.878 million (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 13 million (yearend 1998) Telephone system: general assessment: technologically advanced domestic and international system domestic: equal mix of buried cables, microwave radio relay, and fiber-optic systems international: 40 coaxial submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (7 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and 1 Eutelsat; at least 8 large international switching centers Radio broadcast stations: AM 219, FM 431, shortwave 3 (1998) Radios: 84.5 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 228 (plus 3,523 repeaters) (1995) Televisions: 30.5 million (1997) Internet country code: Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 245 (2000) Internet users: 33 million (2001) Transportation United Kingdom - Railways: total: 16,878 km standard gauge: 16,536 km 1.435- m gauge (4,928 km electrified; 12,591 km double- or multiple- tracked) broad gauge: 342 km 1.600-m gauge (190 km double-tracked) note: all 1.600-m gauge track is in common carrier service in Northern Ireland (1996) Highways: total: 371,603 km paved: 371,603 km (including 3,303 km of expressways) unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.) Waterways: 3,200 km Pipelines: crude oil (almost all insignificant) 933 km; petroleum products 2,993 km; natural gas 12,800 km Ports and harbors: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dover, Falmouth, Felixstowe, Glasgow, Grangemouth, Hull, Leith, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Peterhead, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Scapa Flow, Southampton, Sullom Voe, Tees, Tyne Merchant marine: total: 212 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,308,232 GRT/4,171,757 DWT ships by type: bulk 7, cargo 32, chemical tanker 13, combination ore/ oil 1, container 53, liquefied gas 3, passenger 13, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 26, short- sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 1 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Bermuda 1, Cyprus 1, Denmark 21, Germany 6, Greece 3, Hong Kong 4, Italy 1, Monaco 4, Netherlands 1, Norway 9, Russia 1, South Africa 2, Sweden 11, Taiwan 2, United States 5 (2002 est.) Airports: 470 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 332 over 3,047 m: 8 2,438 to 3,047 m: 33 914 to 1,523 m: 84 under 914 m: 57 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 150 Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 138 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 23 under 914 m: 114 (2001) Heliports: 13 (2001) Military United Kingdom - Military branches: Army, Royal Navy (including Royal Marines), Royal Air Force Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 14,632,418 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 12,151,734 (2002 service: est.) Military expenditures - dollar figure: .7 billion (2002) Military expenditures - percent of 2.32% (2002) GDP: Transnational Issues United Kingdom - Disputes - international: Spain and UK are discussing "total shared sovereignty" over Gibraltar, subject to a constitutional referendum by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form of cession to Spain; Mauritius and Seychelles claim the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory) and its former inhabitants, who reside chiefly in Mauritius, but in 2001 were granted UK citizenship and the right to repatriation since eviction in 1965; Argentina claims the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Rockall continental shelf dispute involving Denmark and Iceland; territorial claim in Antarctica (British Antarctic Territory) overlaps Argentine claim and partially overlaps Chilean claim; disputes with Iceland, Denmark, and Ireland over the Faroe Islands continental shelf boundary outside 200 NM Illicit drugs: gateway country for Latin American cocaine entering the European market; major consumer of synthetic drugs, producer of limited amounts of synthetic drugs and synthetic precursor chemicals; major consumer of Southwest Asian heroin; money- laundering center * * * The U.

On July 24 Labour lost what had been an even safer seat, Glasgow East, which was won by the Scottish National Party.GDP growth slipped in 2001 as the global downturn, the high value of the pound, and the bursting of the "new economy" bubble hurt manufacturing and exports.Still, the economy is one of the strongest in Europe; inflation, interest rates, and unemployment remain low, and the government expects growth of 2% to 2.5% in 2002.Geography United Kingdom Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France Geographic coordinates: 54 00 N, 2 00 W Map references: Europe Area: total: 244,820 sq km water: 3,230 sq km note: includes Rockall and Shetland Islands land: 241,590 sq km Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon Land boundaries: total: 360 km border countries: Ireland 360 km Coastline: 12,429 km Maritime claims: continental shelf: as defined in continental shelf orders or in accordance with agreed upon boundaries exclusive fishing zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM Climate: temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast Terrain: mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast Elevation extremes: lowest point: Fenland -4 m highest point: Ben Nevis 1,343 m Natural resources: coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica, arable land Land use: arable land: 26.41% permanent crops: 0.18% other: 73.41% (1998 est.) Irrigated land: 1,080 sq km (1998 est.) Natural hazards: winter windstorms; floods Environment - current issues: continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (has met Kyoto Protocol target of a 12.5% reduction from 1990 levels and intends to meet the legally binding target and move towards a domestic goal of a 20% cut in emissions by 2010); by 2005 the Government aims to reduce the amount of industrial and commercial waste disposed of in landfill sites to 85% of 1998 levels and to recycle or compost at least 25% of household waste, increasing to 33% by 2015; between 1998--2000, household recycling increased from 8.8% to 10.3% Environment - international party to: Air Pollution, Air agreements: Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution- Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Geography - note: lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and now linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters People United Kingdom - Population: 59,778,002 (July 2002 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.7% (male 5,732,385; female 5,443,900) 15-64 years: 65.5% (male 19,803,478; female 19,381,734) 65 years and over: 15.8% (male 3,931,463; female 5,485,042) (2002 est.) Population growth rate: 0.21% (2002 est.) Birth rate: 11.34 births/1,000 population (2002 est.) Death rate: 10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.) Net migration rate: 1.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/ female total population: 0.97 male(s)/ female (2002 est.) Infant mortality rate: 5.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.99 years female: 80.84 years (2002 est.) male: 75.29 years Total fertility rate: 1.73 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.11% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 20,800 (1999) AIDS: HIV/AIDS - deaths: 450 (1999 est.) Nationality: noun: Briton(s), British (collective plural) adjective: British Ethnic groups: English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6%, Irish 2.4%, Welsh 1.9%, Ulster 1.8%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other 2.8% Religions: Anglican and Roman Catholic 40 million, Muslim 1.5 million, Presbyterian 800,000, Methodist 760,000, Sikh 500,000, Hindu 500,000, Jewish 350,000 Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland) Literacy: definition: age 15 and over has completed five or more years of schooling total population: 99% (2000 est.) male: NA% female: NA% Government United Kingdom - Country name: conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland conventional short form: United Kingdom abbreviation: UK Government type: constitutional monarchy Capital: London Administrative divisions: England - 47 boroughs, 36 counties*, 29 London boroughs**, 12 cities and boroughs***, 10 districts****, 12 cities*****, 3 royal boroughs******; Barking and Dagenham**, Barnet**, Barnsley, Bath and North East Somerset****, Bedfordshire*, Bexley**, Birmingham***, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Bradford***, Brent**, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol*****, Bromley**, Buckinghamshire*, Bury, Calderdale, Cambridgeshire*, Camden**, Cheshire*, Cornwall*, Coventry***, Croydon**, Cumbria*, Darlington, Derby*****, Derbyshire*, Devon*, Doncaster, Dorset*, Dudley, Durham*, Ealing**, East Riding of Yorkshire****, East Sussex*, Enfield**, Essex*, Gateshead, Gloucestershire*, Greenwich**, Hackney**, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham**, Hampshire*, Haringey**, Harrow**, Hartlepool, Havering**, Herefordshire*, Hertfordshire*, Hillingdon**, Hounslow**, Isle of Wight*, Islington**, Kensington and Chelsea******, Kent*, City of Kingston upon Hull*****, Kingston upon Thames******, Kirklees, Knowsley, Lambeth**, Lancashire*, Leeds***, Leicester*****, Leicestershire*, Lewisham**, Lincolnshire*, Liverpool***, City of London*****, Luton, Manchester***, Medway, Merton**, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Newcastle upon Tyne***, Newham**, Norfolk*, Northamptonshire*, North East Lincolnshire****, North Lincolnshire****, North Somerset****, North Tyneside, Northumberland*, North Yorkshire*, Nottingham*****, Nottinghamshire*, Oldham, Oxfordshire*, Peterborough*****, Plymouth*****, Poole, Portsmouth*****, Reading, Redbridge**, Redcar and Cleveland, Richmond upon Thames**, Rochdale, Rotherham, Rutland****, Salford***, Shropshire*, Sandwell, Sefton, Sheffield***, Slough, Solihull, Somerset*, Southampton*****, Southend-on-Sea, South Gloucestershire****, South Tyneside, Southwark**, Staffordshire*, St.Helens, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent*****, Suffolk*, Sunderland***, Surrey*, Sutton**, Swindon, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin****, Thurrock, Torbay, Tower Hamlets**, Trafford, Wakefield***, Walsall, Waltham Forest**, Wandsworth**, Warrington, Warwickshire*, West Berkshire****, Westminster***, West Sussex*, Wigan, Wiltshire*, Windsor and Maidenhead******, Wirral, Wokingham****, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire*, York*****; Northern Ireland - 24 districts, 2 cities*, 6 counties**; Antrim, County Antrim**, Ards, Armagh, County Armagh**, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast*, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, County Down**, Dungannon, Fermanagh, County Fermanagh**, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, County Londonderry**, Derry*, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane, County Tyrone**; Scotland - 32 council areas; Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, The Scottish Borders, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), West Lothian; Wales - 11 county boroughs, 9 counties*, 2 cities and counties**; Isle of Anglesey*, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff**, Ceredigion*, Carmarthenshire*, Conwy, Denbighshire*, Flintshire*, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire*, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire*, Powys*, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea**, Torfaen, The Vale of Glamorgan*, Wrexham Dependent areas: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands Independence: England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales was enacted under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284; in the Act of Union of 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanent union as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927 National holiday: Birthday of Queen ELIZABETH II, celebrated on the second Saturday in June (1926) Constitution: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice Legal system: common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences; no judicial review of Acts of Parliament; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; British courts and legislation are increasingly subject to review by European Union courts Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948) head of government: Prime Minister Anthony (Tony) BLAIR (since ) cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; the prime minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons (assuming there is no majority party, a prime minister would have a majority coalition or at least a coalition that was not rejected by the majority) Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament comprised of House of Lords (consists of approximately 500 life peers, 92 hereditary peers and 26 clergy) and House of Commons (659 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier) elections: House of Lords - no elections (some proposals for further reform include elections); House of Commons - last held 7 June 2001 (next to be held by NA May 2006) election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Labor 42.1%, Conservative and Unionist 32.7%, Liberal Democrats 18.8%, other 6.4%; seats by party - Labor 412, Conservative and Unionist 166, Liberal Democrat 52, other 29; note - seating as of 15 February 2002: Labor 410, Conservative 164, Liberal Democrats 53, other 32 note: in 1998 elections were held for a Northern Ireland Parliament (because of unresolved disputes among existing parties, the transfer of power from London to Northern Ireland came only at the end of 1999 and was twice rescinded before reinstatement in November 2001); in 1999 there were elections for a new Scottish Parliament and a new Welsh Assembly Judicial branch: House of Lords (highest court of appeal; several Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed by the monarch for life); Supreme Courts of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (comprising the Courts of Appeal, the High Courts of Justice, and the Crown Courts); Scotland's Court of Session and Court of the Justiciary Political parties and leaders: Conservative and Unionist Party [Iain Duncan SMITH]; Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Rev.

The most prominent MP to call for Brown to quit was Charles Clarke, who had previously served as home secretary and party chairman.

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