The United Kingdom (UK) is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It has a population of around 65 million.
For centuries it played a major role in international affairs, and while it has had to redefine its place in the world in recent years, it still fulfils an important role in the UN and NATO and other global organisations.
It joined the European Union in 1973, but on 23 June 2016 its citizens voted narrowly to leave by 48% to 52%.
It was the world’s first industrialised country, and is a major cultural force, from the Beatles and David Bowie, to Shakespeare and David Hockney.
Its nations and regions have distinct personalities and cultures and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have each secured different degrees of autonomy.
The UK’s favourite dish is traditional fish and chips, best eaten outside wrapped in brown paper and doused in salt and vinegar.
Find out more at Visit Britain.