Great Britain – Political division, Government
The British Isles are divided into two independent states – the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
The UK consists of England
– the capital is London which is at the same time the capital of the UK, the political center of the British Commonwealth and one of the world’s banking and financial centers.
– Scotland – the capital is Edinburgh.
– Wales – the capital Cardiff is situated in an industrial area on the southern coast.
– The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast.
The I r i s h R e p u b l i c is a selfgoverning country with Dublin as the capital.
The UK flag is officially called the Union Flag, but it is commonly known as the Union Jack.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the Queen Elisabeth II, but she has no real power, she performs traditional functions, her power is symbolical. The real power has the Parliament. It consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Cabinet is headed by the Prime Minister (at present Tony Blair). His seat is at 10 Downing Street.