Talk:ISO 3166-2:GB

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This article is simply wrong as I hope to convince people, as well as answering some of the other questions included in this talk.

The following six "First-Level divisions" (ISO's language)

Channel Islands
Isle of Man
Northern Ireland

consist of the top-level of ISO-3166-2:GB which - as with Albania, France and Spain - describes a hierarchy. With the exception of GB-IOM, each is mapped to 2 or more second-level divisions - what Wikipedia currently describes as the Standard.

Additionally, I infer that the Special Area of England is the Isles of Scilly, not City of London, although it should be noted that the mapping of divisions to division-types for England is *not* part of ISO-3166-2:GB, at least according to the PDFs (maybe it is with the electronic versions I have not seen). My own site is in development and at the time of writing is unreliable for 3166-2 across all countries, but is believed to be accurate for GB. See (and by all means copy) for this 'take'.

The change notice at says there are 33 London boroughs; Wikipedia says 32. It says there are 46 Unitary authorities; Wikipedia says 47. City of London is most definitely one of the (absolutely 100% verified to be exactly) 33 London boroughs!

Whilst it calls itself a unitary authority, the Isles of Scilly council site at says (uniquely) that the Islands are a "special area of conservation". There are 46 other (larger) unitary authority councils in England. Within that context, because it has little more than 2,000 residents many unitary authority tasks are outsourced to (Devon and) Cornwall and it was exempt from Part 2 of the 2002 Local Government Act.

The Isles of Scilly also do not have a FIPS code, being considered part of Cornwall. It may be that FIPS is the root of this particular confusion because that Standard does define City of London as a "city corporation" and only 32 London boroughs. IMO this distinction is spurious because the Lord Mayor of London (NB *not* the Mayor of London who is a proper politician) is a one-year ceremonial appointment of a group of financiers - the City Corporation - holding a big parade and being otherwise concerned solely with chartitable work and hosting dinners. This runs in parallel with the elected borough council that cleans the streets, educates the children, etc. Whatever, the article is about 3166-2, not FIPS, and the Wikipedia author has had to fiddle the published figures to make the article 'work'.

[ with some rationale codes City of London alongside Westminster as a "London borough (city)" - these are the two 'cities' in London - but with similar semantic justification also distinguishes the two Royal London boroughs. This site also categorises Isles of Scilly as one of 47 unitary authorities (split into 3 types). Statoids defines no special areas in England].

Finally, ISO-3166-2:GB is based on British Standard BS 6879. In the latter standard, alternative mnemonic codes are provided for some Welsh divisions. These are noted in the 3166-2 document but it is explicitly stated in the Remark that neither the Welsh names or the alternative codes are part of ISO-3166-2:GB. (If the associated codes were not also different, the Welsh names would, presumably, be integral to the Standard: c.f. for example, ISO-3166-2:CH. It seems in the case of GB that ISO are more interested in rigorously following the National Standard than they are in officially providing alternative language names for divisions).

BS6879 also defines three other top-level divisions:

England and Wales
Great Britain
United Kingdom

This is because of the convoluted legal arrangements in place within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which make these other summary classifications useful for different purposes. e.g. England and Wales share the same legal and education systems; Scotland and Northern Ireland do not. These BS 6879 codes are "included for completeness" in the 3166-2 document but not part of ISO-3166-2 (because they overlap and so violate the rules of the Standard). These are not equivalent to the six First-Level Divisions shown at the top of this contribution as the Wikipedia article erroneously suggests, as the Change Notice makes crystal clear.

Hope this helps. -- 12:49, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

What's the "1 special area" in England? Marnanel 02:30, 29 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Was just wondering the same and noticed GB-LND London, City of (special area). I am intrigued as to the Welsh language issue. Presumably we don't have separate codes for Welsh language placenames, just different names? One would assume it's still GB-AGY, irrespective of whether one calls it Anglesey or Ynys Môn? OwenBlacker 23:30, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)
oh, that makes sense. thanks. I'm guessing it'd be the same in Welsh, given that e.g. when writing French you still write GB for the country code and not RU. Marnanel 23:38, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure that Tobias Conradi's reorganisation should stand. As a (non-English) Brit, Channel Islands > England > NI > Scotland > Wales doesn't seem logical. I think anyone here would expect England, as the largest entity, to come first. Opinions? Anyone care? :o) -- OwenBlacker 20:22, Jun 5, 2004 (UTC)

Update on 'Special Area'[edit]

Following receipt of an email from the Council of the Isles of Scilly, I am even more convinced that this division represents the "Special Area" within England.

Steve Watt writes:

"We have never been part of Cornwall and have been a Unitary Council since 1894. The government has to specially include us in every Bill that is passed as we have an Isles of Scilly Clause that was passed by Parliament in the late 19th Century that recognises the unique status of the Islands." -- 10:51, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

That e-mail confirms that the Isles of Scilly are a unitary authority, distinct from the county of Cornwall.
As the article suggests, the special area is the City of London. It's assigned code 00AA [1] in national statistics. It's not a London borough[2][3]. The city (also a county) is uniquely run by an ancient corporation and has its own police, election system, responsibilities etc. See [4] -- zzuuzz (talk) 21:11, 6 September 2005 (UTC)
Since ISO-3166-2:2007-04-17 changes "special area" to "city corporation" I think it's now clear they mean the City of London. --Golbez 14:05, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

SCT vs SCO[edit]

Wouldn't it be a lot easier for Scotland to use SCO rather than SCT? The o comes before the t. (talk) 16:40, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

NI is a province?[edit]

Regarding Nothern Ireland's "Province" status, how can a province be that big. If the other 3 countries of the uk are countries, then why isn't Northern Ireland? (talk) 18:01, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

NI flag[edit]

Why isn't my NI flag correct, I am pretty sure it is better than the republican tricolour. Leave my edits alone! (talk) 18:01, 21 November 2012 (UTC)


I notice that Geohack links to the region, so a {{coord}} in Cheshire (region:GB-CHW), for example, links to ISO 3166-2:GB-CHW, which doesn't exist. Should these articles exist as redirects, and if so where should they redirect? I was about to create ISO 3166-2:GB-CHW to redirect to Cheshire West and Chester, but then I discovered that ISO 3166-2:GB-LND (London) redirects to ISO 3166-2:GB. Any thoughts? Dave.Dunford (talk) 12:01, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I would say to point them to ISO 3166-2:GB. There are quite a lot already. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:33, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh, BTW: you don't need to mess about with <nowiki>...</nowiki> in order to link a template and also show the double braces. Use {{tl}} or {{tlx}} - for example, {{tlx|coord}} generates {{coord}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:36, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks (and thanks for the tip re templates). Dave.Dunford (talk) 13:12, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I mis-entered the link as ISO 3166-2. It should have been ISO 3166-2:GB. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:07, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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