Moving ToUnited Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a popular destination for foreigners from all parts of the globe and offers a diverse array of employment opportunities. Its capital city is classed as one of the world's global cities and is an international financial capital. The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", and London has been described as a world cultural capital.

Points of Interest

LONDON EYE

BIG BEN

TOWER OF LONDON

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

HISTORY

The history of the British Isles has witnessed intermittent periods of competition and cooperation between the people that occupy the various parts of Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Ireland, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the smaller adjacent islands, which together make up the British Isles.

Today, the British Isles contain two sovereign states: the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. There are also three Crown dependencies: Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. The United Kingdom comprises England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, each country having its own history, with all but Northern Ireland having been independent states at one point. The history of the formation of the United Kingdom is very complex.

The British monarch was head of state of all of the countries of the British Isles from the Union of the Crowns in 1603 until the enactment of the Republic of Ireland Act in 1949, although the term “British Isles” was not used in 1603. Additionally, since the independence of most of Ireland, historians of the region often avoid the term British Isles due to the complexity of relations between the peoples of the archipelago.

ECONOMY

The economy of the United Kingdom is highly developed and market-oriented. It is the Sixth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), ninth-largest measured by purchasing power parity (PPP), and nineteenth-largest measured by GDP per capita, comprising 3.9% of world GDP. It is the third-largest economy in the European Union after Germany and France.

In 2016, the UK was the tenth-largest goods exporter in the world and the fifth-largest goods importer. It also had the second-largest inward foreign direct investment, and the third-largest outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the most globalised economies, and it is composed of (in descending order of size) the economies of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Government & Politics

Her Majesty’s Government, commonly referred to as the UK government or British government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining ministers. The prime minister and the other most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet. The government ministers all sit in Parliament, and are accountable to it.

The United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution, that is governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the prime minister of the United Kingdom, currently Theresa May, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, as well as by the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, and the Northern Ireland Executive. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Geography

The United Kingdom is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The UK lies between the North Atlantic and the North Sea, and comes within 35 km (22 mi) of the north-west coast of France, from which it is separated by the English Channel. It shares a 499 km international land boundary with the Republic of Ireland. The Channel Tunnel bored beneath the English Channel, now links the UK with France.

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Culture

British literature, music, cinema, art, theatre, comedy, media, television, philosophy, architecture and education are important aspects of British culture. The United Kingdom is also prominent in science and technology, producing world-leading scientists (e.g. Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin) and inventions. Sport is an important part of British culture; numerous sports originated in the country, including football. The UK has been described as a "cultural superpower", and London has been described as a world cultural capital.

Arts

VISUAL ARTS

The history of British visual art forms part of western art history. Major British artists include: the Romantics William Blake, John Constable, Samuel Palmer and J.M.W. Turner; the portrait painters Sir Joshua Reynolds and Lucian Freud; the landscape artists Thomas Gainsborough and L. S. Lowry; the pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris; the figurative painter Francis Bacon; the Pop artists Peter Blake, Richard Hamilton and David Hockney; the collaborative duo Gilbert and George; the abstract artist Howard Hodgkin; and the sculptors Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Henry Moore.

LITERATURE

The English playwright and poet William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest dramatist of all time. 20th century English writers include the science-fiction novelist H. G. Wells; the writers of children’s classics Rudyard Kipling, A. A. Milne (the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh), Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton; the controversial D. H. Lawrence; the modernist Virginia Woolf; the satirist Evelyn Waugh; the prophetic novelist George Orwell; the popular novelists W. Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene; the crime writer Agatha Christie (the best-selling novelist of all time); Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond); the poets T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes; the fantasy writers J. R. R. TolkienC. S. Lewis and UK’s best selling author of the 21st century J. K. Rowling,

FILM

The United Kingdom has had a considerable influence on the history of the cinema. The British directors Alfred Hitchcock, whose film Vertigo is considered by some critics as the best film of all time, and David Lean are among the most critically acclaimed of all-time. Other important directors including Charlie Chaplin, Michael Powell, Carol Reed, Edgar Wright, Christopher Nolan, and Ridley Scott. Many British actors have achieved international fame and critical success, including: Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Michael Caine, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Ben Kingsley, Ian McKellen, Liam Neeson, Charlie Chaplin, Sean Connery, Vivien Leigh, David Niven, Laurence Olivier, Peter Sellers, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Some of the most commercially successful films of all time have been produced in the United Kingdom, including two of the highest-grossing film franchises (Harry Potter and James Bond). Ealing Studios has a claim to being the oldest continuously working film studio in the world.

MUSIC

Throughout its history, the United Kingdom has been a major producer and source of musical creation, drawing its artistic basis from the history of the United Kingdom, from church music, Western culture and the ancient and traditional folk music and instrumentation of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The United Kingdom has one of the world’s largest music industries today, with many British musicians having influenced modern music.

The Beatles have international sales of over one billion units and are the biggest-selling and most influential band in the history of popular music. Other prominent British contributors to have influenced popular music over the last 50 years include The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Led Zeppelin, the Bee Gees, and Elton John, all of whom have worldwide record sales of 200 million or more. The Brit Awards are the BPI’s annual music awards, and some of the British recipients of the Outstanding Contribution to Music award include; The Who, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and The Police. More recent UK music acts that have had international success include Coldplay, Radiohead, Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, Spice Girls, Robbie Williams, Amy Winehouse and Adele.

Media

The BBC, founded in 1922, is the UK’s publicly funded radio, television and Internet broadcasting corporation, and is the oldest and largest broadcaster in the world. It operates numerous television and radio stations in the UK and abroad and its domestic services are funded by the television licence. Other major players in the UK media include ITV plc, which operates 11 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, and News Corporation, which owns a number of national newspapers through News International such as the most popular tabloid The Sun and the longest-established daily “broadsheet” The Times, as well as holding a large stake in satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.

Cuisine

British cuisine has been described as “unfussy dishes made with quality local ingredients, matched with simple sauces to accentuate flavour, rather than disguise it”.[1] However, British cuisine has absorbed the cultural influence of those who have settled in Britain, producing many hybrid dishes, such as the Anglo-Indian chicken tikka masala

Well-known traditional British dishes include full breakfast, fish and chips, the Christmas dinner, the Sunday roast, steak and kidney pie, shepherd’s pie, and bangers and mash. People in Britain however eat a wide variety of foods based on the cuisines of Europe, India, and other parts of the world. British cuisine has many regional varieties within the broader categories of English, Scottish and Welsh cuisine and Northern Irish cuisine. Each has developed its own regional or local dishes, many of which are geographically indicated foods such as Cornish pasties, the Yorkshire pudding, Cumberland Sausage, Arbroath Smokie, and Welsh cakes.

Sports & Recreations

Major sports, including association football, tennis, rugby union, rugby league, golf, boxing, netball, rowing and cricket, originated or were substantially developed in the UK and the states that preceded it. With the rules and codes of many modern sports invented and codified in late 19th century Victorian Britain, in 2012, the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, stated; “This great, sports-loving country is widely recognised as the birthplace of modern sport. It was here that the concepts of sportsmanship and fair play were first codified into clear rules and regulations. It was here that sport was included as an educational tool in the school curriculum”.

Overall, association football attracts the most viewers and money though the nation is notable for the diversity of its sporting interests, especially at the elite level. Major individual sports include athletics, golf, cycling, motorsport, and horse racing. Tennis is the highest profile sport for the two weeks of the Wimbledon Championships, but otherwise struggles to hold its own in the country of its birth. Snooker and Darts, too, enjoy period profile boosts in line with the holding of their largest events. Many other sports are also played and followed to a lesser degree. There is much debate over which sport has the most active participants with swimming, athletics, cycling all found to have wider active participation than association football in the 2010 Sport England Active People survey

Demographic

Language
Religion
Education

Language

English

The official language of the United Kingdom is English, which is spoken by approximately 59.8 million residents, or 98% of the population, over the age of three. An estimated 700,000 people speak Welsh in the UK, an official language in Wales. Approximately 1.5 million people in the UK speak Scots—although there is debate as to whether this is a distinct language, or a variety of English.

RELIGION

Religion in the United Kingdom, and in the countries that preceded it, has been dominated for over 1,400 years by various forms of Christianity. According to the 2011 Census, Christianity is the major religion, followed by Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism in terms of number of adherents. Among Christians, Anglicans are the most common denomination, followed by the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists.

While the United Kingdom as a whole lacks an official religion, the Church of England remains the state church of its largest constituent country, England. The Monarch of the United Kingdom is the Supreme Governor of the Church, and accordingly, only a Protestant may inherit the British throne.

HEALTH

Healthcare in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter and each country has its own system of private and publicly funded health care, together with alternative, holistic and complementary treatments. Public healthcare is provided to all UK permanent residents and is mostly free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. The World Health Organization, in 2000, ranked the provision of healthcare in the United Kingdom as fifteenth best in Europe and eighteenth in the world. Since 1979 expenditure on healthcare has been increased significantly to bring it closer to the European Union average.

EDUCATION

In each country there are five stages of education: early years, primary, secondary, further education (FE) and higher education (HE). The law states that full time education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 (4 in Northern Ireland) and 16, the compulsory school age (CSA). In England, compulsory education or training has been extended to 18 for those born on or after 1 September 1997. This full-time education does not need to be at a school and some parents choose to home educate. Before they reach compulsory school age, children can be educated at nursery if parents wish though there is only limited government funding for such places.

Further Education is non-compulsory, and covers non-advanced education which can be taken at further (including tertiary) education colleges and Higher Education institutions (HEIs). The fifth stage, Higher Education, is study beyond A levels or BTECs (and their equivalent) which, for most full-time students, takes place in universities and other Higher Education institutions and colleges.

Considering the four systems together, about 38 percent of the United Kingdom population has a university or college degree, which is the highest percentage in Europe, and among the highest percentages in the world.

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