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Countries of the United Kingdom

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Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which together form the sovereign state of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. They are also described as "constituent countries", "countries within a country"[1] and "nations". English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh nationals are all British citizens without distinction. Citizens of Northern Ireland are also entitled to Irish citizenship through the Republic of Ireland, and can hold a dual citizenship with Britain, retain the option of Irish citizenship, or have the entitlement to either citizenship removed by request.[2]

Northern Ireland is on occasion referred to as a province of the United Kingdom, and Wales on occasion is referred to as a principality.

The Parliament of the United Kingdom and Her Majesty's Government deal with all reserved matters for Northern Ireland and Scotland and all non-transferred matters for Wales, but not in general on matters that have been devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. England remains the full responsibility of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which is centralised in London. As the sovereign state, the United Kingdom is recognised as the representative country under international law, and thus England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are not themselves listed on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) list of countries.

The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are British Islands, but are not under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland is a separate country and sovereign state, and although part of the geographical 'British Isles', is not a part of the British Islands or the UK.

Contents

Identity within the UK

Many citizens of the United Kingdom cite "Britain", "United Kingdom" and "British" as their country and nationality, while others identify specifically with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.[3] Others identify primarily with their constituent country, but hold a sense of 'Britishness' in equal or high esteem. People from a mixed background sometimes ally with more than one of the constituent countries. The propensity for nationalistic feeling varies greatly across the UK, and can rise and fall over time.[4] Generally the UK countries are considered to be a close union, with shared values, language, currency and culture, and with people moving and working freely throughout.[5] Since the significant broadening of autonomous governance throughout the UK in the late 1990s, debate has taken place across the United Kingdom on the relative value of full independence.[6]

UK terminology

Various terms have been used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This fact is illustrated by the following two tables.

Legal terminology

There is no term in UK law for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as a group of individual parts; each one was a complete incorporating union. Nevertheless, for various purposes they do refer to the areas of the former states. These are listed below:

Terminology in the Acts of Union
  • The Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 annexed the legal system of Wales to England[7] to create the single entity commonly known today as England and Wales. Wales was described as the "Country, Principality and Dominion", "Dominion of Wales"[7] or the "Dominion, Principality and Country" or "Dominion and Principality" of Wales[8]. Outside of Wales, England was not given a specific name or term.
  • The Acts of Union 1707 refer to both England and Scotland as a "Part of the united Kingdom"[9]
  • The Acts of Union 1800 use "Part" in the same way. They also use "Country" to describe Great Britain and Ireland respectively, when describing trade between them[10]
  • The Government of Ireland Act 1920 does not use any term or description to classify Northern Ireland nor indeed Great Britain.
Current Legal Terminology

The Interpretation Act 1978 provides some definitions for terms relating the countries of the United Kingdom. Use of these terms in other legislation is interpreted following the definitions in the 1978 Act. The definitions are listed below

  • "England" means, subject to any alteration of boundaries under Part IV of the Local Government Act 1972, the area consisting of the counties established by section 1 of that Act, Greater London and the Isles of Scilly." This definition applies from 1 April 1974.
  • "United Kingdom" means "Great Britain and Northern Ireland." This definition applies from 12 April 1927.
  • "Wales" means the combined area of the 12 original administrative counties (with the addition of Monmouthshire) re-formulated into 8 new counties under section 20 of the Local Government Act 1972, as originally enacted, but subject to any alteration made under section 73 of that Act (consequential alteration of boundary following alteration of watercourse).". In 1996 these 8 'districts' were redistributed into the current 22 unitary authorities.

Note that there is no definition of Scotland or Northern Ireland. Even in the Scotland Act 1998 there is no delineation of the country, with the definition in section 126 simply providing that Scotland includes "so much of the internal waters and territorial sea of the United Kingdom as are adjacent to Scotland". See also Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999 and Anglo-Scottish border.

"Countries of the United Kingdom"

The following table presents 36 reliable sources that use the term "Countries of the United Kingdom". For examples of "country", "constituent country" and other terms in use, please refer to the further tables below.

Term Reliable sources
Countries of the United Kingdom [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]

Other terms in use

The following table presents reliable sources for the terms most commonly-used to describe the countries of the United Kingdom. The references are listed per country, and in some instances are used more than once, when more than one country is referred to in the source. To avoid duplication, individual examples have been found wherever possible. Each term is restricted to 36 examples per use. Some of the table is still under completion.

Term England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
Constituent country [47][48] [47][48] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57] [47][48]
Constituent part [58] [58] [58] [58]
Country [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] [70] [71] [72] [73] [74] [75] [70] [71] [72] [76] [73] [74] [77] [78] [79] [80] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] [59] [63] [90] [70] [71] [72] [76] [74] [77] [78] [91] [92] [93] [94] [95] [96] [97] [98] [79] [99] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [17] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] [106] [107] [59] [61] [63] [69] [108] [109] [110] [111] [112] [113] [114] [115] [116] [117] [118] [119] [120] [121] [122] [123] [124] [125] [126] [127] [128] [129] [130] [131] [132] [133] [134] [135] [136] [137] [138] [139] [59] [63] [140] [141] [142] [143] [144] [145] [146] [147] [70] [70] [71] [72] [76] [74] [148] [77] [78] [79] [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [17] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] [105] [107] [106]
Countries within a country (UK government term) [59] [59] [59] [59]
Division [149] [149] [149] [149]
Home country [150] [95] - - -
Home nation - - - -
Kingdom - - [151] -
Nation [149] [149] [152] [153] [154] [155] [156] [157] [158] [159][149] [149]
Part [115] [115] [109] [115] [115]
Principality - - - [61][160]
Province - [61][161] - -
Region [162] [162] [162] [162]

See also

References

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  8. Laws in Wales Act 1542
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  10. e.g. "That, from the first Day of January one thousand eight hundred and one, all Prohibitions and Bounties on the Export of Articles, the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of either Country, to the other, shall cease and determine; and that the said Articles shall thenceforth be exported from one Country to the other, without Duty or Bounty on such Export"; Union with Ireland Act 1800, Article Sixth.
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  108. British Embassy in the United States of America
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  139. UNESCO-1994. The impact of examination systems on curriculum development: an international study. Chapter 1. SCOPE OF INVESTIGATION - Geographical Scope: "To give a suitably international context to the study, seven countries were selected and agreed with UNESCO. The seven, namely Colombia, Egypt, France, Japan. Scotland. the United States of America (US) and Zimbabwe were chosen" UNESCO Report at www.unesco.org
  140. Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, Wynford Vaughan-Thomas's Wales, Mermaid Books 1983, ISBN 0 7181 2251 8, p8, ch1 Welcome to Wales: "Who would expect to find a country speaking its own language, and with its own fiercely defended culture and traditions, within seventy miles of the huge English urban complexes of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester?"
  141. Gwynfor Evans, Land of My Fathers, Y Lolfa 1992, ISBN 0 86243 265 0, pp434/435 ch10 Facing the British: "Arthur Henderson, ... Foreign Secretary ... 1924, believed: 'One could not imagine a country where federal self-government has a better chance of success than Wales...Given self-government Wales could become a modern Utopia.' He stressed that the smallness of the country was a great advantage from the standpoint of good government."
  142. Peter Berresford Ellis, Celt and Saxon - The Struggle for Britain AD 410 - 937, Constable and Company 1993, ISBN 0 09 472160 2, pp241, ch16 Do 'The British' Really Exist?: "Monoglot English clergy had been appointed to livings in Wales as a matter of course. A Dr Bowles had been given the living of Trefdaeth and Llangwyfan where, of 500 parishioners, only five had any knowledge of English. This was in 1768 and the Welsh decided to rebel. They argued that they should have a minister who spoke Welsh. The case took five years to argue. Dr Bowles's counsel was quite clear on the position of Wales: 'Wales is a conquered country, it is proper to introduce the English language, ...' "
  143. Wales - The Rough Guide, Mike Parker and Paul Whitfield, The Rough Guides 1997, ISBN 1-85828-245-4, p. viii/ Introduction, Para 2: "As you cross the border from England, you are, in fact, immediately aware of the different attitudes and cultures of the two countries. ..." ... "WALES AND ITS SHIFTING COUNTY BOUNDARIES. Wales is a small and thinly populated country ..."
  144. Prys Morgan (Ed), History of Wales 25,000 B.C. - A.D. 2000, Tempus Publishing 2001, ISBN 0 7524 1983 8, p78 ch3 Frontier Wales c1063-1282: "Of course, throughout this period Wales remained an overwhelmingly rural country, ..."
  145. Wales: History of a Nation, David Ross, Gedded & Grosset 2005, ISBN 1 84205 018 4, p15 Introduction: "... At its head [a Welsh national army] was the Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwr. For five years he had resisted the might of England, ranging the strength of all Wales behind him, making treaties with the Kingdoms of France and Scotland, acting as a sovereign in his own country."
  146. Wales: History of a Nation, David Ross, Gedded & Grosset 2005, ISBN 1 84205 018 4, p256: "'A vineyard placed in my care is Wales, my country, To deliver unto my children, And my children's children, Intact: an eternal heritage' Saunders Lewis, Buchedd Garmon, translated by D.M. Lloyd"
  147. The Wikipedia article Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau says: " "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" (Template:Pronounced, usually translated as "Land of My Fathers", (but literally old country of my fathers) is, by tradition, the national anthem of Wales."
  148. Ordnance Survey (11 July 2002). Ordnance Survey spreads the word in Welsh for the Royal Welsh Show.
  149. 149.0 149.1 149.2 149.3 149.4 149.5 149.6 149.7 Scotland is Not a Country
  150. London School of Economics. Government failing to learn valuable lessons from UK health care experiment. "different approaches to health policy that have been adopted by each home country since devolution."
  151. The Scottish Parliament. FAQ's - "Is Scotland a country? - The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the full name of the country. Scotland is a kingdom within the United Kingdom (UK)" Your Scotland Questions at www.scottish.parliament.uk
  152. G. K. Chesterton, "Edward VII. and Scotland" -- I am quite certain that Scotland is a nation; I am quite certain that nationality is the key of Scotland; I am quite certain that all our success with Scotland has been due to the fact that we have in spirit treated it as a nation.
  153. David McCrone, Scotland, Small? -- Scotland is a nation which has lived quite happily within a loose confederation, a union, and now finds itself within a bigger union - of Europe.
  154. Heald, Geaughan & Robb, "Financial Arrangements for UK Devolution" in Elcock & Keating Remaking the Union -- ... from the recognition that Scotland is a nation within the United Kingdom.
  155. Davidson, The Origins of Scottish Nationhood -- Because Scotland is a nation, and not a region or an urban district, opposition took a form which was impossible in most other parts of Britain.
  156. Anderson, "Fernand Braudel & National Identity" in Clark, The Annales School -- ... Scotland is a nation that is something like a quasi-state, Britain a state that is at least a quasi-nation.
  157. Von Beyme, "Fischer's move towards a European Constitution" in Joerges, Mény & Weiler, What kind of Constitution for what kind of Polity -- In this age of football, one whimsical definition defines the nation by the very existence of a national football team. On this definition Scotland is a nation and Bavaria not.
  158. Haesly, "Identifying Scotland and Wales" in Nations and Nationalism, vol. 11, no. 2 -- As they argue, 'Scotland is a nation; therefore, Scotland should become an independent nation state' ...
  159. Bultmann, Scottish Rights Vindicated: Identity and Nationalism in Mid-Nineteenth Century Scotland (unpub PhD [?] thesis), quotes one of William Burns' NAVSR tracts of 1854 -- so long as Scotland is a nation - by contract merely forming part of the united Empire - so long the Scottish people have a basis upon which, with consistency, they may rest such things as national demands.
  160. Home Office Police Research Group Crime Prevention Unit Series, December 1993, sourced 2008-06-30, Paper NO.50 - Vehicle Watch in Wales, 1: "Forces in the Principality of Wales have demonstrated a particularly high level of commitment to the Vehicle Watch concept", at www.homeoffice.gov.uk
  161. OFT Consultation on a market investigation reference on personal current account banking in Northern Ireland, 2005-02-11, accessed 2008-06-30, Annex A.3: "The Geographic market is defined as the Province of Northern Ireland", at www.oft.gov.uk
  162. 162.0 162.1 162.2 162.3 about.com, Matt Rosenberg. Geography.


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