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Great Britain




The official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is situated on two large isles, the larger of which is Great Britain, the smaller is Ireland. The total area of Great Britain is 240,000 sq. kms, its population is 56,000,000 people.

In the northwest and west, the country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, in the east — by the North Sea. The island of Great Britain is separated from France by the English Channel. Northern Ireland, which is a part of Great Britain and which is situated on the island of Ireland, is separated from Great Britain by the North Channel.

The island of Great Britain is divided into two parts: mountainous (in the north and west of the island) and lowland (in the south and east). There are no very long rivers in Great Britain. The most important rivers are the Thames (the deepest) and the Severn (the longest). The rivers seldom freeze in winter. Great Britain has an insular climate, humid and mild.

Great Britain consists of four main parts: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is divided into 55 counties. The biggest cities of Great Britain are London, Bir­mingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Cardiff. England is the largest part of Great Britain (it occupies over 50 % of the territory and its population amounts to 83 % of the total population of Great Britain).

Great Britain is a parliamentary monarchy. Officially, the head of the state is the Queen (or the King). However, the power of the Queen in Great Britain is not absolute. She acts only on the advice of the ministers and Parliament. The Parliament consists of two Houses — the House of Lords and the House of Commons. As a rule, the Prime Minister is the leader of the party that has won the election. The Prime Minister appoints the ministers to compose the government. There are two main political parties in Great Britain: the Conservative party and the Labour party.

Great Britain is a highly developed industrial country. The main fields of British industry are machine building, shipbuilding, metal­lurgy, electronics, etc.

London, the capital of the UK, is the greatest town and port on the British Isles. It is its political, economic and commercial center.

Numerous historical and cultural places of interest on its territory remind of the tremendous past of the country.

Questions:

1. What is the official name of Great Britain?

2. What is the area of Great Britain and its population?

3. Does Great Britain consist of four parts?

4. What are the main fields of British industry?

5. Do you know any places of interest in Great Britain?


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