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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Semi-protected edit request on 24 August 2015[edit]

Under Politics - Government it says that elections are called by the monarch, and are subject to the Parliament Acts. However this is no longer the case since the introduction of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. PepperMintTea1967 (talk) 23:27, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I agree. Note though that the monarch may still be able to call elections. In Canada, which had a similar law, the governor-general called an early election in 2011. Also, the next sentence says, "a new election must be called no later than five years after the previous general election." But I do not think that is true. Parliament dissolves 5 years following an election, but there was nothing mandating elections, although typically they would be called promptly near or at the end of Parliament's mandate. TFD (talk) 16:53, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Actually, section 1 of the 2011 Act says that the election has to happen on the 1st Thursday in May in the 5th year after the last election (although the prime minister can alter the electiin date by 2 months) Section 3 says that disolution has to happen 17 days earlier than the election day mandated by section 1. DeCausa (talk) 17:04, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Oxbridge in the education section[edit]

I think it's enough to leave just information of history there as this is far less controversial than rankings'. THE (comprising both global main and reputation league tables) doesn't represent all the major rankings we have (ARWU, QS, US News). To me, it's a bit biased to just mention one of them. In dialogue with Biomedicinal 12:55, 11 September 2015‎ (UTC)

My problem is that we had a previous discussion here about avoiding just mentioning Oxford and Cambridge. Is there any way we can use these rankings to indicate there is more to UK universities than the ones we have had since the thirteenth century?--SabreBD (talk) 16:08, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

I think Oxbridge has significance as they're the two oldest universities in English-speaking world. I personally don't prefer mentioning rankings, which can vary dramatically from publisher to publisher. If they're really required, we can add something like "UK has the second most tertiary institutions ranked among the top 100 on a number of league tables" which is pretty consistent in the ones I cited above. In dialogue with Biomedicinal 15:39, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Including the First Ministers of their respective devolved legislatures on the Infobox[edit]

I believe that the First Ministers of the devolved nations (Scotland, NI, and Wales) should be included in the infobox below Prime Minister.

See Infobox right:

A flag featuring both cross and saltire in red, white and blue Coat of arms containing shield and crown in centre, flanked by lion and unicorn
Flag Royal coat of arms[nb 1]
Anthem: "God Save the Queen"[nb 2]
Two islands to the north-west of continental Europe. Highlighted are the larger island and the north-eastern fifth of the smaller island to the west.
Location of the  United Kingdom  (dark green)

– in Europe  (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (green)

and largest city
51°30′N 0°7′W / 51.500°N 0.117°W / 51.500; -0.117
Official language
and national language
Recognised regional
languages[nb 3]
Ethnic groups (2011)
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
 •  Monarch Elizabeth II
 •  Prime Minister David Cameron
 •  First Ministers:
(in Scotland)
(in Northern Ireland)

(in Wales)

Nicola Sturgeon
Arlene Foster
Martin McGuinness
Carwyn Jones
Legislature Parliament
 •  Upper house House of Lords
 •  Lower house House of Commons
 •  Acts of Union of England and Scotland 1 May 1707 
 •  Acts of Union of Great Britain and Ireland 1 January 1801 
 •  Irish Free State Constitution Act 5 December 1922 
 •  EEC accession[nb 4] 1 January 1973 
 •  Total 242,495 km2[3] (80th)
93,628 sq mi
 •  Water (%) 1.34
 •  2014 estimate 64,511,000[4] (22nd)
 •  2011 census 63,181,775[5] (22nd)
 •  Density 255.6/km2 (51st)
661.9/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $2.549 trillion (10th)
 •  Per capita $39,510[4] (28th)
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
 •  Total $2.945 trillion (5th)
 •  Per capita $45,653[4] (19th)
Gini (2012) positive decrease 32.8[6]
medium · 33rd
HDI (2013) Steady 0.892[7]
very high · 14th
Currency Pound sterling (£) (GBP)
Time zone GMT (UTC​)
 •  Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Drives on the left
Calling code +44
ISO 3166 code GB
Internet TLD .uk

Thunderstorm008 (talk) 15:16, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

Do any comparable country articles include this kind of material in their infoboxes, do you know? I ask because I've edited the Bosnia and Herzegovina article a lot and it doesn't list sub-national leaders despite the country being highly decentralised, but I'm unaware of what the norm is. Cordless Larry (talk) 18:08, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
I've just checked Canada, which is a featured article, and it doesn't list the premier of Quebec. Cordless Larry (talk) 18:18, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we should - infobox bloat. Johnbod (talk) 19:15, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Unnecessary, per MOS:INFOBOX - the infobox only exists to "summarise.. key features of the page's subject.." The subject of the article is the UK as a whole, not the devolved legislatures. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:43, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Speaking of which, it is surely highly misleading to include languages like Cornish and Ulster Scots so prominently as "officially recognised". This may be technically correct, but will give (for example) Indians and Spaniards completely the wrong idea. Try using them in legal proceedings. Only Welsh should be mentioned. Johnbod (talk) 15:18, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Well it's not "highly misleading". Loads of people in Scotland report they speak Scots (more than any foreign language). It also says "recognised", not "official", although Welsh could have it's own section "Official regional languages". While Scottish Gaelic is spoken by a very small minority of the population, it is widely spoken across a large area. The Western Isles alone are pretty significant. Cornish, Irish and Ulster-Scots are almost extinct in the UK, but it would be difficult to exclude them while including the others as they are recognised. Rob984 (talk) 15:47, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
So it is highly misleading and WP:UNDUE to have them so prominently placed here then. Obviously they can go in the text somewhere way down where they belong, but to have information about the Cornish language halfway down the first screen of the article is wildly undue. It's not difficult to exclude them at all. Johnbod (talk) 16:10, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
True. I just mean there's no clear cut off. It would be difficult to exclude Scots but include Welsh. Or include Scots and Welsh, but not Scottish Gaelic. Or include Scots, Welsh, and Scottish Gaelic, but not Irish. Another option would be using a collapsible list for regional languages. Rob984 (talk) 16:41, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Are there Scots language schools? Are all locally relevant government publications produced in Scots versions? It really isn't difficult at all. Johnbod (talk) 17:32, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
We could also add the percentages like for ethnic groups. Rob984 (talk) 16:42, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
More bloat. In a note maybe. Johnbod (talk) 17:32, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Now I see from the link below (to the discussion above) that we have only had this nonsense for a couple of weeks, after one ISP proposed it. Time to remove it. Johnbod (talk) 18:14, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Remove what? The regional languages have been listed in the infobox, quite correctly, for many years. Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:11, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I misread the section above. But this is not correct, it is UNDUE infobox bloat. Also, if your machine is running slowly, the ludicrous show/hide box with the name in all the languages displays for several seconds. Anyone from the UK knows that this is all nonsense, as the real actual speakers of non-native languages such as Urdu and Polish outnumber the speakers of all but Welsh many times - many thousands of times in the case of Cornish, and government policy in terms of the translation of notices etc rightly reflects this. The infobox treatment seems blatently discriminatory against non-native minority languages. Johnbod (talk) 20:50, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the arguments for inclusion or otherwise in the infobox, unless you are implying that the stats are wrong about your "real actual speakers of non-native languages" your assertions above are incorrect and you might have checked them. Polish and Welsh are similar in number, both significantly more than Urdu with Scots outnumbering these three put together. Having no schools using a tongue as the main language and few official documents says something about lack of status, not existence. Mutt Lunker (talk) 22:34, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Well if you count a few minor dialectal differences, fewer than in most English regional dialects, as making the Scots most Scots speak a different language, then I suppose they might. It is precisely official status we are talking about here. Johnbod (talk) 02:29, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, quite probably most Scots (outside the Highlands, though many in) speak Scots only to such a limited extent, hence 70% of them reporting in the census that they don't understand, speak, read or write it, despite that knowledge. Mutt Lunker (talk) 07:14, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
I believe they should not. Rob984 (talk) 22:17, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
Adding the Scottish premier etc. is excessive. Incidentally, is English the "official" language of the UK or the unofficial one? TFD (talk) 15:45, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Huh? English is official according the the Government. Welsh and English are official in Wales according to Welsh law. Other are recognised regional languages under the Council of Europe's European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the Government signed. Rob984 (talk) 15:52, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
There is a discussion on this issue above. Cordless Larry (talk) 17:34, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Article 2 of the French constitution (translated into English) says, "The language of the Republic shall be French." What is the equivalent legislation in the United Kingdom? When did it come into effect in Cornwall, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. TFD (talk) 03:34, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
There isn't any, nor is there a written British constitution. Deal with it. You could look at the Act of Uniformity 1549, which provoked a rebellion in Cornwall, and similar moments, but there's no one easy answer. Johnbod (talk) 04:13, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Don't add them. By comparison, can you image what the Canadian infobox would be like, if the 10 provincial premiers & 3 territorial premiers were added. What about the American infobox, with 50 state governors included. GoodDay (talk) 04:15, 27 September 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ National Anthem, British Monarchy official website. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  2. ^ "List of declarations made with respect to treaty No. 148". Council of Europe. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Demographic Yearbook – Table 3: Population by sex, rate of population increase, surface area and density" (PDF). United Nations Statistics Division. 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "United Kingdom". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "2011 UK censuses". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income (source: SILC)". Eurostat Data Explorer. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "2014 Human Development Report" (PDF). 14 March 2013. pp. 22–25. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 

Introduction should make clear UK is a country[edit]

I am not able to edit the page but the introduction should better state the UK is a country to avoid confusion due to it also saying it is made up of four countries and starting the article only saying it is a sovereign state. A few days ago the second sentence said "the country includes" but it now just says "it". Why was that change needed? why can the article not say the uk is a country more clearly when England, Wales, Scotland articles say they are countries clearly. Red Reef (talk) 17:57, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

The article refers to the subject as a country once in the hatnote, twice in the first paragraph of the lede, once in the second and third and twice in the fourth paragraph. That ought to flag up the notion. Mutt Lunker (talk) 19:09, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
The first sentence says the UK is a "sovereign state." Since all sovereign states are countries, it would be redundant and confusing to state that it is a country. Of course it is reasonable to refer to the UK as a country throughout the article. TFD (talk) 19:31, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
In order to change from sovereign state to country for the UK, you'd have to list E/S/W/NI as constituent countries, to avoid confusion. The latter attempt would likely be met with strong resistance. It's best to not go down that road. GoodDay (talk) 20:21, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Soft Power[edit]

Interestingly, the UK frequently ranks top of the Soft Power 30 index: Would including this somewhere be useful in highlighting the UK's soft power position in the world? (talk) 22:07, 22 November 2015 (UTC)
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