London, city, capital of the United Kingdom. It is among the oldest of the world’s great cities—its history spanning nearly two millennia—and one of the most cosmopolitan. By far Britain’s largest metropolis, it is also the country’s economic, transportation, and cultural center.
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.8 trillion in 2018 and a population of more than 66 million, the United Kingdom has the fifth largest economy after the U.S., China, Japan and Germany. Its people are generally: kind, honest, hardworking and multi cultural. Truly a multi cultural society.
At its height, Britain was the largest empire in history, and the world’s most powerful superpower for more than a century. By 1922, more than 458 million people lived in the British Empire, which was more than one fifth of the world’s population at that time.
The United Kingdom has historically played a leading role in developing parliamentary democracy and in advancing literature and science. At its zenith in the 19th century, the British Empire stretched over one-fourth of the earth’s surface. The first half of the 20th century saw the UK’s strength seriously depleted in two world wars and the Irish Republic’s withdrawal from the union. The second half witnessed the dismantling of the Empire and the UK rebuilding itself into a modern and prosperous European nation. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a founding member of NATO and the Commonwealth, the UK pursues a global approach to foreign policy. The Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly were established in 1998.
The UK has been an active member of the EU since its accession in 1973, although it chose to remain outside the Economic and Monetary Union. However, motivated in part by frustration at a remote bureaucracy in Brussels and massive migration into the country, UK citizens on 23 June 2016 narrowly voted to leave the EU. The UK and the EU are currently negotiating the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and a framework for their future relationship ahead of the UK’s scheduled departure from the bloc on 29 March 2019.