Great Britain - Великобритания (6)

The territory of the United Kingdom is about 244000 square kilometers, it takes the 75th place among other countries in the world. Great Britain is separated from the continent by the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream influence the climate of Great Britain. It is mild the whole year round.

The surface of Great Britain varies greatly. The northern and western parts of the country is mountainous and is called the Highlands. All the rest (south, east and center) is vast plain which is called the Lowlands. The mountains are not very high. The highest region are in Scotland and in the North Wales. The highest peak in Scotland is Ben Nevis, 1343 m. In Wales the highest peak is Snowdon. There is also the Pennine chain in North England with some wild mountains for climbing.

The rivers are not long. The most important of them are the Severn, the Thames, the Trent. The Thames flowing to the East is the busiest and the most beautiful river, the Severn flowing to the west is the longest river – about 200 miles, the Trent flowing to the north is the fastest.

There are many beautiful lakes in the mountainous parts of the country. Here is Lake District which consists of 16 lakes or "lochs" as they call them. The largest lake is Windermere and the deepest one is Westwater. The commonest trees in England are oak, ash and beech. Scotland has much pine and birch.

The animal life is various. There are several small lizards, snakes and frogs. The most numerous birds are blackbirds, sparrows and starling. Some birds are protected by law. They are partridges and pheasants.

The national emblem of England is the Red Rose, the national bird is the Robin Redbreast. The national emblem of Wales is the daffodil and leek. The national emblem of Scotland is the thistle. The national emblem of Northern Ireland is the shamrock.

Great Britain is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world’s largest products, machinery and electronics, chemicals and textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding. Seven per cent of the population is engaged in farming.

The population is more then 57 million. About 80% of the population is urban. The largest cities of Great Britain are: London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool, Bristle, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow. The largest ports of the country are: Belfast, London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff. The capital of the country is London.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. It has a monarch – a King or a Queen. The monarch has little power and can reign with the support of Parliament. British Parliament is the legislative body at the country. It consists of two Houses. The House of Commons and House of Lords.

Parliament and the monarch have different roles in the Government of the country. In reality, the House of Commons has truth power. It introduces new bills. Then they go to the House of Lords for approval. Then the monarch since them. The functions of the monarch are: to open the sessions of the Parliament, to head the commonwealth, to be Commander-in-Chief, to declare the war, to make peace.

The house of commons is made up of 650 elected knows of members of parliament. The party which has the majority of suits in the Government and its leader usually becomes prime minister. The prime minister forms his or her Cabinet Ministers. The chairman of the House of Commons is the Speaker. The chairman of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor. He sits on a special place, which is called the woolsack. It means that wool made England rich. The members of the House of Lords are not elected, there are live peers.

There are several political parties in Great Britain. They are the Conservative, the Liberal, the Labor, the Social Democratic and the Communist parties. Prime minister of the country Antony Blair is representative of the Labor party.