The second chapter of Life in the United Kingdom – A Guide for New Residents, 3rd edition is called “What is the UK?”. This chapter contains information on the countries that make up the United Kingdom.
The official name of the UK is “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. The name “Great Britain” refers to the countries of Scotland, Wales and England, not Northern Ireland. When you study, you should take the words Britain, British, or British Isles to mean all of the UK. To easily remember the countries you can use the acronym NEWS (Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland ) – the first letter of each country name makes NEWS 🙂
It is important to remember that only Northern Ireland is part of the UK. Ireland itself is a separate country.
There are several islands which are politically close to the UK, but are not officially part of Great Britain. They are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. These islands are called Crown dependencies.
Britain also has several territories across the world. Two of these are St Helena and the Falkland Islands. They are also politically linked to Britain but are not a part of it.
The government of the UK is a parliament, which is located in Westminster. The other countries in the UK, namely Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, also have local parliaments or assemblies. These groups have less power than the UK parliament.