The United Kingdom is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It has a long history as a major player in international affairs and fulfils an important role in the EU, UN and Nato.
The twentieth century saw Britain having to redefine its place in the world. At the beginning of the century, it commanded a world-wide empire as the foremost global power.
Two world wars and the end of empire diminished its role, but the UK remains an economic and military power, with considerable political and cultural influence around the world.
Britain was the worlds first industrialised country. Its economy remains one of the largest, but it has for many years been based on service industries rather than on manufacturing.
The Palace of Westminster is home to one of the worlds oldest parliaments
At a glance
- Politics: Prime Minister David Cameron of the centre-right Conservative Party, headed first a coalition with the Liberal Democrats then a majority Conservative government. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have varying degrees of political autonomy.
- Economy: The UK is recovering steadily from a slump that followed the 2008 global financial crisis. Londons financial industry is a significant part of the services-based economy
- International: The UK is a key global player diplomatically and militarily. It plays leading roles in the EU, UN and Nato
The process of deindustrialisation has left behind lasting social problems and pockets of economic weakness in parts of the country.
More recently, the UK has suffered a deep economic slump and high public debt as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, which revealed its over-reliance on easy credit, domestic consumption and rising house prices.
Efforts to rein in the public debt – one of the developed worlds highest – has led to deep cuts to welfare, government services and the military, prompting concern about social equality and a possible loss of international influence.
Despite being a major member of the EU, the country is not part of the eurozone, and looks unlikely to join. Opposition to the EUs common currency was boosted by a feeling that the pound had softened the blow of the financial crisis and spared the UK the eurozone crisis.
More generally, anti-EU feeling, fed by a concern over national sovereignty and perceptions of diminished autonomy, is strong among many Britons.
Prime Minister David Cameron, under pressure from the right of his Conservative Party, has promised a referendum on whether to remain in the European Union in 2017, and will seek radical EU reform beforehand to justify continued membership.
Critics say risking a British exit from the EU could mean courting economic disaster, as most of the UKs international trade is within the EU.
In response to growing dissatisfaction with the UKs traditionally highly centralised nature, the London government devolved powers to separate parliaments in Scotland and Wales in 1999.
But this did not stop the centrifugal trend. A nationalist government has been in power in Scotland since 2007. A referendum on independence was held in September 2014, with 55% of voters opting to remain as part of the United Kingdom and 45% favouring independence.
In Northern Ireland, after decades of violent conflict, the Good Friday agreement of 1998 led to a new assembly with devolved powers, bringing hopes of lasting peace.
The United Kingdom is made up of four countries, three of which have devolved powers. Voters in a Scottish referendum in 2014 rejected independence, with 55% opting to remain part of the United Kingdom and 45% voting for independence
The UK is ethnically diverse, partly as a legacy of empire. Lately, the country has been struggling with issues revolving around multiculturalism, immigration and national identity.
Concerns about terrorism and Islamist radicalism heightened after the suicide bomb attacks on Londons transport network in 2005.
There has also been a debate about immigration. Some advocate tough policies on limiting immigration, others attempt to put the case for it as a positive force.
One of the more recent trends in migration has been the arrival of workers from the new EU member states in Eastern Europe.
The UK has been a major force in global youth culture since the heyday of the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the 1960s.
It has a rich literary heritage encompassing the works of English writers such as William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, Scot Robert Burns, Welshman Dylan Thomas and Northern Irishman Seamus Heaney.
The capital, London, is a major centre for trade and culture
UK work permits are known as Tier 2 work permits.
There are different types of Tier 2 work permits, such as in-country work permit, out country work permits, Intra company transfer work permit.
IT WORK PERMITS
Now there are opening for IT Engineers and experts to UK from all over the world. If you have your own IT contract from the UK companies, you will be eligible for Tier2 work permit from the outside UK. For initial assessment, please fill in our no-obligation assessment form.
NURSING WORK PERMITS
If you are a Registered Nurse or have obtained 7 bands in all the modules of IELTS examination you are eligible for UK Tier 2 work visa. Please fill our no-obligation assessment form for further process.
TIER 5 INTERNSHIP WORK VISA
If you have completed your graduation or masters from any country in the world in any discipline, from any country in the world, you are eligible for the Tier 5 internship work visa. The initial visa is for one year which is extendable.
Please fill your no obligation assessment form for further process.