The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, called the United Kingdom, GB or UK, is a sovereign state in Northern Europe. It unites England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as one Kingdom. It is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, NATO and the G8. It has the sixth largest economy in the world. Around 65 million people live in the UK. Most people in the UK speak English. There are five native languages other than English. They are Welsh in Wales, Gaelic and Scots in Scotland and Northern Ireland, Irish in Northern Ireland, and Cornish in Cornwall. Between the 17th and mid 20th-centuries Britain was an important world power. It became a colonial empire that controlled large areas of Africa, Asia, North America and Oceania. Today this empire does not exist, although Britain keeps links with most countries of its former empire. Some well-known cities in the UK are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, York and Glasgow.