Talk:United Kingdom

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Former good article United Kingdom was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Debt[edit]

Total UK government debt rose quickly from 44.4% of GDP in 2007 to 82.9% of GDP in 2011, then increased more slowly to 87.5% of GDP in 2015.[245][246]


This is factually incorrect. This is just the government's borrowing.

No. The last comment is incorrect. UK Government Debt did indeed increase from c 35% of GDP pre-crash to c 85% of GDP post-crash, at which level it has more or less stablised. Government Borrowing has fallen from c £145 billion per annum in 2010 (i.e. 10% of GDP) to c £60 billion per annum now (i.e. 3% of GDP). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 185.108.92.22 (talk) 13:57, 5 October 2017‎ (UTC)

External Debt: The comments re the UK's external debt are misleadingly one-sided and ignore the fact that the UK is also one of the world's largest creditors. Its "Net International Investment Position (the sum of its external borrowing and loans) is modestly negative and very much in the middle of the global rankings.

I agree with the above comments. This whole economic section seems determined to present a negative view of the UK economy. The UK's NET INVESTMENT POSITION (which is what really matters) is actually in credit. The fact that the country is both a major creditor and a major debtor reflects its large financial sector and is arguably a sign of strength rather than a sign of weakness. Also, whilst it is true that UK inequality has widened since the 1970s, the situation has stabilized since the late 1990s and has in fact improved since the 2008 crash. Thus, for almost a decade now, inequality in the UK has been narrowing, not widening as this article misleadingly suggests. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 185.108.92.22 (talk) 13:57, 5 October 2017‎ (UTC)

For example, it owed 5,010 bn in pensions with no assets [unfunded] as of 2010.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_263808.pdf — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.194.83.28 (talkcontribs) 16:37, 5 January 2016‎ (UTC)

Scots rebellion was about British sovereignty, not Catholicism[edit]

The section in 'History' under "After the Acts of Union of 1707", should mention that the King George I, and the House of Hanover were German, and he barely spoke English, and that the Scottish uprising was not just about Protestantism, but that the House of Hanover were not thought of as British by almost anyone in Britain. The uprising had a lot to do with British sovereignty, not just Catholicism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.30.55.165 (talk) 15:19, 3 September 2017‎ (UTC)

Languages[edit]

What does "de facto official" mean? Best I can guess would be "unofficial" but if so then it's an odd way of saying it 87.254.69.136 (talk) 21:50, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

"Unofficial" implies something that is not recognised by officialdom, for instance one might say "exceeding the speed limit by 5 mph on a motorway is unofficially tolerated". The problem with much English law and procedure is that it is so ancient that there was never a formal declaration, just accepted use by officials. IIRC, from the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) English became the language of statute law and the courts, so for nigh on 650 years has been the language of officialdom, but there was never a "making English the official language Act". Of course the situation becomes more complex once you add in Welsh, Scots and Gaelic. Hence the quite specific term de facto official; that is English is the language of officialdom.
Another example which may help you. Murder clearly is one of the most serious crimes there is, currently attracting a life sentence, in the past the death sentence. I'm sure you would agree it is "officially" a crime, and yet – basic murder is a crime "contrary to common law",[a] not a statuary offence. So is killing just "unofficially" prohibited?
HTH, Martin of Sheffield (talk) 22:27, 26 September 2017 (UTC)

Notes

  1. ^ NB, this was certainly the case about 30 years ago, later legislation may have changed it.
I don't think of case law as any less official than statute law myself (also although the core of the law of murder is established from case law, there are plenty of statutory references to it), but both the explanation and the example help me to understand what you mean when you say 'official' and hence also by 'de facto official'. So that does help. Thanks. 87.254.69.136 (talk) 05:16, 27 September 2017 (UTC)

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Unitary sovereign state vs sovereign country[edit]

Let's call the UK what it is, a unitary sovereign state, and not do this mess of calling it a "sovereign country" with a Wikilink to the sovereign state page.

I suggest we focus on the real truth and not try to mislead readers of the English Wikipedia for political ends, such as Brexit or whatever else the agenda is of those Wikipedia editors who want the UK to be listed as a "sovereign country". I suggest the content "sovereign country" is replaced with "unitary sovereign state" - with the Wikilinks I've already added to my suggested new content (2 Wikilinks, one to the "Unitary state" page and the other to the "Sovereign state" page). This is also slightly more detail and informs the reader that the UK is a unitary state, and not a federation like the US, Germany, or Russia. I know Wikipedia is all about consensus, but when Wikipedia is being used for what appears to be political means, that's an area when criticisms of the site start. First past the post (talk) 15:45, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

This one keeps coming up. "sovereign country" is a non-term that keeps both camps happy, so please leave it alone. See Talk:United_Kingdom/Archive_30#Opening_sentence and many preceding entries. FYI, it has nothing to do with Brexit. BTW, I'm shortening your title to a title rather than a statement. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 16:20, 3 October 2017 (UTC)

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Only the Welsh and Scottish Gaelic names of the UK are recognised by the UK Government[edit]

In the United Kingdom, only the Welsh language (from the Welsh Language Act 1967 (1967 c. 66 (repealed 21.12.1993)) [1] and the Welsh Language Act 1993 (1993 c. 38) [2]) and the Scottish Gaelic language (from the British Nationality Act 1981, Schedule 1, Article 1(1)(c) [3] (1981 c. 61), and the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 (2005 a.s.p. [c.] 7) [4]) have co-official, semi-official or limited semi-official status, and thus only the Welsh and Scottish Gaelic names of the name of the United Kingdom are recongised by the Crown (by Her Majesty's Government) ... the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is NOT law or legislation here in the United Kingdom (because, it is established in British law (by the case of R[egina] v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Brind and others, HL/PO/JU/18/251, 7 February 1991 ([1991] AC 696, [1991] 1 AC 696, [1991] 1 All ER 720, [1991] UKHL 4, [1991] 2 WLR 588): "As was recently stated by Lord Oliver of Aylmerton in [JH Rayner (Mincing Lane) Ltd v Department of Trade and Industry] (The "International Tin Council Case") [1990] 2 [AC] 418 [[1989] 3 WLR 969, [1990] 2 AC 418, [1989] 3 All ER 523, [1990] BCLC 102, (1990) 81 ILR 670, ILDC 1733 (UK 1990), 26 October 1989] at 500 [5]: "Treaties, as it is sometimes expressed, are not self-executing. Quite simply, a treaty is not part of English law unless and until it has been incorporated into the law by legislation. So far as individuals are concerned, it is res inter alios acta from which they cannot derive rights and by which they cannot be deprived of rights or subjected to obligations; and it is outside the purview of the court not only because it is made in the conduct of foreign relations, which are a prerogative of the Crown, but also because, as a source of rights and obligations, it is irrelevant."" (Lord Ackner) [6]) that even treaties signed and ratified by the UK, are nevertheless NOT law in the UK or part of the laws of the UK, unless they are incorporated into the laws of the UK by UK legislation), and the status of Welsh and Scottish Gaelic are NOT determined by European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (and the Irish language is definitely NOT (even) a semi-official or a limited semi-official language in any part of the United Kingdom (at present), not even within Northern Ireland only (at present), hence a lot of the current political dispute in that particular part of the World [7]!) English clealy takes precedence over Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, and in turn English, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic clealy take precedence over the Scots language, Irish and the Cornish language, regardless what the Council of Europe says or might say, and their precedence should really be rearranged accordingly; certain not alphabetically, as it is at present! -- 87.102.116.36 (talk) 12:32, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

References

United Kingdom vs. Great Britain[edit]

"Great Britain" and the "United Kingdom" are not different terms for the same geographic or political entity. Great Britain actually has it's own wikipedia page. Could somebody more knowledgeable than I (with the history of those words and that general region) explain this in the introduction?

Dstarfire (talk) 21:58, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

Does this help: "the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands"? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 22:11, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
You mean like the second sentence of the introduction states word for word? Mabuska (talk) 22:13, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Exactly, hence the quotation marks. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 22:22, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Also see the note at the top of the article which makes it very clear: This article is about the country. It is not to be confused with Great Britain, its largest island whose name is also loosely applied to the whole country. "UK" redirects here. For other uses of "UK", see UK (disambiguation). For other uses of "United Kingdom", see United Kingdom (disambiguation). No need for any changes. Mabuska (talk) 22:15, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
I presume the problem is with the first sentence: "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) and colloquially Great Britain (GB) ... ". The word colloquially is not supported by the cited sources. I would suggest replacing it with loosely, which is not synonymous with colloquially (which suggests a difference in register rather than accuracy or precision). Arguably, it would be less misleading if "loose" definitions were restricted to the terminology section (and the hatnote). By the way: in the terminology section, the Merriam-Webster's reference for Great Britain does not appear to support the statement it follows (and it is redundant). I would suggest removing it, though it could perhaps be used, instead, to support the preceding statement. --Boson (talk) 12:16, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Hard to understand what the above statement says as it is clearly not plain English, but the lead is fine as it is. MilborneOne (talk) 15:51, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
Sorry if I was unclear! I should perhaps have used the word style rather than the technical term register. My statement meant that the word colloquially should be replaced by the word loosely when referring to "Great Britain". Reason:
  • sources support use of the word "loosely" but do not support use of the word "colloquially". If more explanation is needed:
Colloquial is a matter of style; loose is a matter of accuracy or precision.
The statement in the lead is unsourced and therefore, presumably, based on the statements and sources in the body of the article. The body currently (correctly) states " "[Great Britain] is sometimes used as a loose [my emphasis] synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole." This is (purportedly) supported by two references:
  • "Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online". Definition of Great Britain: island in western Europe comprising England, Scotland, and Wales area 88,150 square miles (228,300 square kilometers), population 61,371,315  [As I pointed out, this reference does not support the statement that precedes it.]
  • New Oxford American Dictionary. Great Britain: England, Wales, and Scotland considered as a unit. The name is also often used loosely [my emphasis] to refer to the United Kingdom. 
Here are definitions of loose and colloquial from Random House Webster's unabridged dictionary (2nd ed.)
* loose (17): not strict, exact or precise
* colloquial: characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing
The first is a matter of accuracy or precision, the second is a matter of style (register).
The article gives an example where Great Britain is used loosely but not colloquially to refer indirectly to the UK.
--Boson (talk) 22:57, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 October 2017[edit]

Change the size of the United Kingdom in miles and square kilometers using BBC United Kingdom profile as the source, as the United Kingdom size on wikipedia is slightly wrong. TangoExpert (talk) 15:24, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

Not done: The current area is taken from reports by the United Nations Statistics Division, so it is reliably sourced. Certain measures like population, coastline, surface area, etc. are impossible to measure with complete accuracy so slight differences between reliable sources are expected. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 15:31, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

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Request of comment[edit]

An editor has requested comments from other editors for a discussion about Charles, Prince of Wales in its talk page, under "RFC: What should be in the article lead, concerning the royal succession?" Feel free to go there and join the discussion. Thinker78 (talk) 22:52, 20 November 2017 (UTC)