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    United Kingdom Government 1997

      Country name
      conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
      conventional short form: United Kingdom
      abbreviation: UK

      Data code UK

      Government type constitutional monarchy

      National capital London

      Administrative divisions 47 counties, 7 metropolitan counties, 26 districts, 9 regions, and 3islands areas; England - 39 counties, 7 metropolitan counties*; Avon, Bedford,Berkshire, Buckingham, Cambridge, Cheshire, Cleveland, Cornwall, Cumbria,Derby, Devon, Dorset, Durham, East Sussex, Essex, Gloucester, Greater London*,Greater Manchester*, Hampshire, Hereford and Worcester, Hertford, Humberside,Isle of Wight, Kent, Lancashire, Leicester, Lincoln, Merseyside*, Norfolk,Northampton, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Nottingham, Oxford, Shropshire,Somerset, South Yorkshire*, Stafford, Suffolk, Surrey, Tyne and Wear*, Warwick,West Midlands*, West Sussex, West Yorkshire*, Wiltshire; Northern Ireland- 26 districts; Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast,Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Down, Dungannon,Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Londonderry, Magherafelt, Moyle, Newryand Mourne, Newtownabbey, North Down, Omagh, Strabane; Scotland - 9 regions,3 islands areas*; Borders, Central, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife, Grampian,Highland, Lothian, Orkney*, Shetland*, Strathclyde, Tayside, Western Isles*; Wales - 8 counties; Clwyd, Dyfed, Gwent, Gwynedd, Mid Glamorgan, Powys, SouthGlamorgan, West Glamorgan

      Dependent areas Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands,Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Hong Kong (scheduled to become a Special Administrative Region of China on 1 July 1997), Jersey,Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia andthe South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands

      Independence 1 January 1801 (United Kingdom established)

      National holiday Celebration of the Birthday of the Queen (second Saturday in June)

      Constitution unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practice

      Legal system common law tradition with early Roman and modern continental influences;no judicial review of Acts of Parliament; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction,with reservations

      Suffrage 18 years of age; universal

      Executive branch
      chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES(son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)
      head of government: Prime Minister Tony BLAIR (since 2 May 1997)
      cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
      elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; prime minister is the leaderof the majority party in the House of Commons and must have the consent ofthe monarch

      Legislative branch bicameral Parliament consists of House of Lords (1,200 seats; four-fifthsof the members are hereditary peers, two archbishops, 24 other senior bishops,serving and retired Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, other life peers, Scottishpeers) and House of Commons (659 seats; members are elected by popular voteto serve five-year terms)
      elections: House of Lords - no elections; House of Commons - last held 1 May 1997(next to be held by NA May 2002)
      election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Labor 44.5%, Conservative31%, Liberal Democratic 17%, other 7.5%; seats by party - Labor 418, Conservative165, Liberal Democratic 46, other 30

      Judicial branch House of Lords, several Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed bythe monarch for life

      Political parties and leaders Conservative and Unionist Party [John MAJOR]; Labor Party [Anthony (Tony)Blair]; Liberal Democrats or LD [Jeremy (Paddy) ASHDOWN]; Scottish NationalParty [Alex SALMOND]; Welsh National Party (Plaid Cymru) [Dafydd Iwan WIGLEY];Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [David TRIMBLE]; Democratic UnionistParty (Northern Ireland) [Rev. Ian PAISLEY]; Social Democratic and Labor Partyor SDLP (Northern Ireland) [John HUME]; Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [GerryADAMS]; Alliance Party (Northern Ireland) [Lord ALDERDICE]

      Political pressure groups and leaders Trades Union Congress; Confederation of British Industry; National Farmers'Union; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

      International organization participation AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional),CE, CERN, EBRD, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, G-5, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC,IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer),ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UN Security Council,UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAES,UNU, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

      Diplomatic representation in the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador Sir John Olav KERR (will return to London in late 1997)
      chancery: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
      telephone : [1] (202) 588-6500
      FAX: [1] (202) 588-7870
      consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, New York,and San Francisco
      consulate(s): Dallas, Miami, and Seattle

      Diplomatic representation from the US
      chief of mission: Ambassador William J. CROWE, Jr.
      embassy: 24/31 Grosvenor Square, London, W. 1A1AE
      mailing address: PSC 801, Box 40, London; FPO AE 09498-4040
      telephone: [44] (71) 499-9000
      FAX : [44] (71) 409-1637
      consulate(s) general: Belfast, Edinburgh

      Flag description blue with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edgedin white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew(patron saint of Scotland); known as the Union Flag or Union Jack; the designand colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number ofother flags including dependencies, Commonwealth countries, and others

      NOTE: The information regarding United Kingdom on this page is re-published from the 1997 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United Kingdom Government 1997 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United Kingdom Government 1997 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 06-Mar-02
    Copyright © 2002 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)