Great Britain is an island in the Atlantic Ocean which is a part of the United Kingdom. It is situated at the north-west of continental Europe. Being the largest island in Europe, it’s the ninth largest island in the world. According to the latest data, the population of Great Britain is above 60 million people. Approximately 80% of population is urban. The surface of the island greatly varies from part to part. While the northern and western part are mountainous (the Highlands), the southern, central and eastern parts are covered by a vast plain (the Lowlands). The deepest river on the island is the Thames, and the longest is the Severn.
Great Britain is divided into three countries. They are England, Scotland, and Wales. The island is surrounded by over 1,000 small islets. Great Britain is considered to be one of the richest and highly developed countries in the world. Its economy is in steady progress. One of its chief industries is shipbuilding. Other than that, Great Britain produces aircraft equipment, machinery, electronics, iron and steel products, textile, chemicals. As for education, Britain is the intellectual center of Europe. The most renowned universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, are situated there.
The political system of Great Britain consists of the monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its apex, and the Parliament. Although the head of state is the Queen, the actual control is performed by the government with a Prime Minister at the head. The House of Lords and the House of Commons constitute the British Parliament. There are certain differences between these Houses. While the House of Lords is an unelected upper chamber, the House of Commons is periodically elected. Three main political parties in the country are the Conservative, the Liberal, and the Labour. The ruling one nowadays is the Conservative party.
The climate of Great Britain is greatly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and the warm waters of Gulf Stream. The weather on the island is quite changeable. For example, a fine morning can unexpectedly change into a wet afternoon and vice versa. The most unpleasant aspect of British weather is continuous rain and fog. It is especially common in large cities. During thick fog car accidents are a frequent scene. The best time of the year is spring and the worst is winter. January and February are rather cold, humid and unpleasant. Summer days can be rainy too, so most British people prefer spending their summer holidays abroad.
Each country in Great Britain has its own flag, capital, and emblem. For example English flag is known as the St George’s Cross. Its colours are red, blue and white. The capital of the country is London and the emblem is a red rose. Scottish flag contains blue and white colours. It is known as St Andrew’s Cross. The capital of the country is situated in Edinburgh and the national emblem is a thistle. The Welsh flag presents a red dragon on a green and white field. The capital of the country is Cardiff and the national emblem is either the leek or daffodil.
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