, Her Majesty's Armed Forces consist of three professional service branches: the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (forming the Naval Service), the British Army and the Royal Air Force. The British and Irish governments co-operate on non-devolved matters affecting Northern Ireland through the British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference, which assumes the responsibilities of the Northern Ireland administration in the event of its non-operation. All pupils in Wales are either taught Welsh as a second language up to age 16, or are taught in Welsh, as a first language. In accordance with party policy, no elected Sinn Féin members of parliament have ever attended the House of Commons to speak on behalf of their constituents because of the requirement to take an oath of allegiance to the monarch.  Research conducted by the Migration Policy Institute for the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggests that, between May 2004 and September 2009, 1.5 million workers migrated from the new EU member states to the UK, two-thirds of them Polish, but that many subsequently returned home, resulting in a net increase in the number of nationals of the new member states in the UK of some 700,000 over that period. The British colonies in North America that broke away from Britain in the American War of Independence became the United States of America, recognised by Britain in 1783. , In 2014 the net increase was 318,000: immigration was 641,000, up from 526,000 in 2013, while the number of people emigrating (for more than 12 months) was 323,000.  Rock is not far behind, at 22.6 per cent of unit sales. , The United Kingdom has had a considerable influence on the history of the cinema.  In 2016[update], 31.4 per cent of primary and 27.9 per cent of secondary pupils at state schools in England were members of an ethnic minority. The UK was ranked eighth among national European rail systems in the 2017 European Railway Performance Index assessing intensity of use, quality of service and safety.  The number of children being taught either Welsh or Scottish Gaelic is increasing. , In 2016/'17, 48,000 children were being homeschooled in the United Kingdom. The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA) is the body responsible for advising the government on what should be taught in Northern Ireland's schools, monitoring standards and awarding qualifications. More recently the playwrights Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter, Michael Frayn, Tom Stoppard and David Edgar have combined elements of surrealism, realism and radicalism. , England's population in 2011 was 53 million. The highest mountains in Wales are in Snowdonia and include Snowdon (Welsh: Yr Wyddfa) which, at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft), is the highest peak in Wales.  Major theorists from the 17th and 18th centuries include Isaac Newton, whose laws of motion and illumination of gravity have been seen as a keystone of modern science; from the 19th century Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution by natural selection was fundamental to the development of modern biology, and James Clerk Maxwell, who formulated classical electromagnetic theory; and more recently Stephen Hawking, who advanced major theories in the fields of cosmology, quantum gravity and the investigation of black holes. A kingdom and sovereign state in Western Europe comprising the four countries of England, Scotland and Wales in the island of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland in the island of Ireland. , In England and Wales water and sewerage services are provided by 10 private regional water and sewerage companies and 13 mostly smaller private "water only" companies.  He formed a Special Relationship with the United States and won their agreement to a Europe first grand strategy for the Allies. This is unnecessary because UK is short for'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.'  In Northern Ireland Gaelic football and hurling are popular team sports, both in terms of participation and spectating, and Irish expatriates in the UK and the US also play them. Alongside the formal control it exerted over its own colonies, British dominance of much of world trade meant that it effectively controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America. United Kingdom 1. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom or the UK) is a constitutional monarchy comprising much of the British Isles.. , Whilst education in England is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education, the day-to-day administration and funding of state schools is the responsibility of local authorities. Around twenty, mostly privately owned, train operating companies operate passenger trains. 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.  The M25, encircling London, is the largest and busiest bypass in the world. Scotland accounts for just under a third (32 per cent) of the total area of the UK, covering 78,772 square kilometres (30,410 sq mi). It is also a principal subcontractor on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter – the world's largest single defence project – for which it designs and manufactures a range of components. Modern local government by elected councils, partly based on the ancient counties, was introduced separately: in England and Wales in a 1888 act, Scotland in a 1889 act and Ireland in a 1898 act, meaning there is no consistent system of administrative or geographic demarcation across the United Kingdom. , It is compulsory for pupils to study a second language up to the age of 14 in England. , Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own government or executive, led by a First Minister (or, in the case of Northern Ireland, a diarchal First Minister and deputy First Minister), and a devolved unicameral legislature.  The essence of common law is that, subject to statute, the law is developed by judges in courts, applying statute, precedent and common sense to the facts before them to give explanatory judgements of the relevant legal principles, which are reported and binding in future similar cases (stare decisis).  The Armed Forces are charged with protecting the UK and its overseas territories, promoting the UK's global security interests and supporting international peacekeeping efforts.  In 2012, the UK and Scottish governments signed the Edinburgh Agreement setting out the terms for a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, which was defeated 55.3 per cent to 44.7 per cent – resulting in Scotland remaining a devolved part of the United Kingdom.. 4.1. It is not subject to state control, and the British monarch is an ordinary member, required to swear an oath to "maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government" upon his or her accession. , The Crown dependencies are possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the UK. In Scotland water and sewerage services are provided by a single public company, Scottish Water.  They comprise three independently administered jurisdictions: the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. In 2011, the UK produced 18.3 million tonnes of coal.  Wales's most celebrated medieval poet, Dafydd ap Gwilym (fl.1320–1370), composed poetry on themes including nature, religion and especially love. There were eventual hard-fought victories in the Battle of the Atlantic, the North Africa campaign and the Italian campaign.  In the 2011 census the total population of the United Kingdom was 63,181,775.  In 2011, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) rated 13–14-year-old pupils in England and Wales 10th in the world for maths and 9th for science. In the 1991 UK census 94.1 per cent of people reported themselves as being White British, White Irish or White Other with 5.9 per cent of people reporting themselves as coming from other minority groups. , The 'Queensberry rules', the code of general rules in boxing, was named after John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry in 1867, and formed the basis of modern boxing. A coalition government was formed in 1931.. It was created in 1606 by the superimposition of the Flag of England on the Flag of Scotland and updated in 1801 with the addition of Saint Patrick's Flag. , A second, less used, personification of the nation is the character John Bull. Sport governing bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland organise and regulate the game separately.
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