The United Kingdom of Great Britain LOCATION • Located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border with another sovereign state, 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. Geography • The total area of the United Kingdom is approximately 243,610 square kilometers . • It lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, coming within 35 kilometers of the northwest coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. •The United Kingdom has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons but seldom drops below −10 °C or rises above 35 °C. Government and politics • The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state. It is a country consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in the capital city of London • The position of Prime Minister, the UK's head of government, belongs to the Member of Parliament who can obtain the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons, The Palace of Westminster, seat of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons Economy • The UK has a partially regulated free market economy, •The UK is today the sixth largest economy in the world and the third largest in Europe after Germany and France, Industries • Motor industry • The chemical and pharmaceutical industry • Financial services • Tourism Aston Martin is a well known English automobile company. London is the largest financial centre in the world alongside New York Education • Education in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter. • British universities contain some of the best and oldest in the world. • England has some of the top universities in the world; University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College London and University College London are ranked in the global top 10 in the 2008. •. Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study rated pupils in England 7th in the world for Maths, and 6th for Science. The results put England's pupils ahead of other European countries, including Germany. King's College, part of the University of Cambridge Queen's University, Belfast, built in 1849 and one of the oldest higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. Innovation • • The discovery of hydrogen, by Henry Cavendish The world's first working television system, and colour television, by John Logie Baird. • The invention of the jet engine, by Frank Whittle. • The first practical telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell. • The structure of DNA, by Francis Crick and others. • The invention of the World Wide Web, by Tim Berners-Lee. • The discovery of penicillin, by biologist and pharmacologist, Sir Alexander Fleming. • The laws of motion and illumination of gravity, by Newton. • The creation of postage and modern postal service, by Sir Rowland Hill. Endless list ……………………………………………….. Sir Newton Foreign relations • The United Kingdom is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, NATO, Council of Europe, and a member state of the European Union. • The UK has placed a particular emphasis on its "Special Relationship" with Jordan.