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Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

The UK is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool.

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In the news

21 March 2019 – Brexit negotiations
The European Union confirms that UK Prime Minister Theresa May's requested short extension date of 30 June is too late due to pending EU elections. After lengthy discussions, EU leaders agree that if the Prime Minister's deal is passed next week a short extension until 22 May is available to pass the necessary legislation. If that deal is not passed, the UK is given until 12 April to define whether it will participate in EU elections. (The Guardian), (The Guardian2)
20 March 2019 – Brexit negotiations
UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally writes a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk requesting for a delay of Brexit until June 30. (The Guardian)
16 March 2019 – Terrorism in Ireland, Terrorism in the United Kingdom
The village of Derrylin, close to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, is sealed off after a suspicious object is found. The object is later determined to be “nothing untoward”. (Irish Times)
14 March 2019 – Brexit negotiations
The House of Commons of the United Kingdom votes 412 to 202 to seek a delay to Brexit of three months if UK Prime Minister Theresa May's deal can be passed at a third attempt next week, else significantly longer. The delay, which means the UK will no longer leave the European Union on March 29, will have to be unanimously approved by all other 27 EU member states. (BBC)
13 March 2019 – Brexit negotiations
The UK's parliament votes against a no-deal Brexit. This greatly increases the chance of a delayed Brexit, to be voted on Thursday, as well as opening the door to the possibility of a second referendum. (CBC)
12 March 2019 – Brexit negotiations
The UK's parliament rejects Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal by 149 votes. A vote for leaving the European Union without a deal is scheduled for the thirteenth of March. If Parliament rejects the decision to leave with no deal, the UK could request its withdrawal from the EU be postponed with the unanimous consent of the other 27 member states. (The New York Times)



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