The Government of the United Kingdom formally referred to as Her Majesty’s Government is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The government is led by the prime minister, who selects all the other ministers. The prime minister and their most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet. The government ministers all sit in Parliament and are accountable to it. The government is dependent on Parliament to make primary legislation, and since the Fixed-terms Parliaments Act 2011, general elections are held every five years to elect a new House of Commons, unless there is a successful vote of no confidence in the government or a two-thirds vote for a snap election (as was the case in 2017) in the House of Commons, in which case an election may be held sooner. After an election, the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) selects as prime minister the leader of the party most likely to command the confidence of the House of Commons, usually by possessing a majority of MPs.
The current prime minister is Boris Johnson, who took office on 24 July 2019. He is the leader of the Conservative Party, which won the most seats in the House of Commons but did not secure a majority government in the general election on 8 June 2017, when Theresa May was the party leader. Following the general election on 12 December 2019, the Conservatives were able to secure a working majority of 80, taking 365 of the 650 seats.
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy in which the reigning monarch (that is, the king or queen who is the head of state at any given time) does not make any open political decisions. All political decisions are taken by the government and Parliament. This constitutional state of affairs is the result of a long history of constraining and reducing the political power of the monarch, beginning with Magna Carta in 1215.
The economy of the United Kingdom is a highly developed social market and market-orientated economy. It is the sixth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), ninth-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP), and twenty second-largest by GDP per capita, comprising 3.3% of world GDP.
In 2016, the UK was the tenth-largest goods exporter in the world and the fifth-largest goods, importer. It also had the second-largest inward foreign direct investment and the third-largest outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the most globalised economies, and it is composed of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. With more than 52% of its imports and its exports, the European Union, including its 27 members states, remains in 2020 one notable trade partner from the UK.
The currency of the UK is the pound sterling, which is the world’s fourth-largest reserve currency after the United States dollar, the Euro and the Japanese yen, and is also one of the 10 most valued currencies in the world.
The UK is a member of the Commonwealth, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, NATO, the United Nations Security Council, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the United Nations.
Agriculture, construction and production industries, financial and business services, hotels and restaurants and tourism are the crux of the UK’s economy.
The strength of the UK economy varies from country to country and from region to region. Excluding the effects of North Sea oil and gas (which is classified in official statistics as extra-regio), England has the highest gross value added (GVA) and Wales the lowest of the UK’s constituent countries.
|Rank||Country||GDP per capita, 2015|
|3||Northern Ireland||£18,584/ $28,400|
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