United Kingdom

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The prince's official job description as King will be 'defender of the faith', which currently means the state-financed absurdity of the Anglican Church, but he has more than once said publicly that he wants to be anointed as 'defender of all faiths' – another indication of the amazing conceit he has developed in six decades of performing the only job allowed him by the hereditary principle: that of waiting for his mother to expire.

Christopher Hitchens


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Overview: United Kingdom


Writing in the London Sunday Times, the commentator Dominic Lawson gloomily predicted that ‘Our children – and theirs in turn – will be paying for the debt delinquency of the governments we elected.’ That debt delinquency had certainly produced a climate of lending reluctance within British banking circles. The OECD in its annual report on the UK economy felt that the key challenges facing the government were those of improving longer-term growth potential and reducing inequality. The UK had still to deal with the lingering effects of the global financial crisis, the restrictive impact of what the OECD considered to be a ‘necessary fiscal consolidation’ and headwinds from the euro area sovereign debt crisis. All these risked prolonging and worsening the economic downturn and negatively affecting the UK’s long-term growth potential. Structural reforms, including those currently implemented by the government, were also thought to be crucial in boosting growth and equality.

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Profile: United Kingdom

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

Getting about

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II (crowned 2 Jun 1953)
Head of government: Prime Minister David Cameron (from 12 May 2010)
Ruling party: The Conservative Party
Area: 244,103 square km
Population: 64.51 million (2014)
Capital: London
Official language: English; English and Welsh in Wales; English and Scottish Gaelic in Scotland.
Currency: Pound sterling (£) = 100 pence
Exchange rate: £0.65 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$45,653 (2014)
GDP real growth: 2.55% (2014)
GDP: US$2,945.15 billion (2014)
Labour force: 32.78 million (2014)*
Unemployment: 6.20% (2014)
Inflation: 1.46% (2014)
Oil production: 850,000 bpd (2014)
Natural gas production: 36.60 billion cum (2014)
Balance of trade: -US$199.62 billion (2014)*
Annual FDI: US$28.31 billion (2011)
* estimated figure


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