The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain, is a sovereign island country located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The UK includes the island of Great Britain, the northeast part of the island of Ireland and many small islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel.
The United Kingdom is a union of four constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom is governed by a parliamentary system: a seat of government in London, the capital; and a constitutional monarchy with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as the head of state. The Crown Dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, formally possessions of the Crown, are not part of the UK, but form a federacy with it. The UK has fourteen overseas territories, all remnants of the British Empire.
As a direct result of the empire, British influence can be observed in the language and culture of states such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the United States, and other less influential independent states. HM Queen Elizabeth II remains the head of the Commonwealth of Nations and the head of state of each of the Commonwealth realms.
The UK is a developed country, with the fifth or sixth (nominal GDP) largest economy in the world. It retains strong economic, cultural, military and political influence. Great Britain is a member state of the European Union. It holds a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, and is a member of the G8, NATO, WTO and the Commonwealth of Nations.
a land border — пограничная область
the Channel Tunnel — тоннель под Ла-Маншем
the Crown Dependencies — земли, территории, принадлежащие Короне
possession (s) — владение, владения
a remnant (s) — остаток, остатки
less influential — менее влиятельный
a realm (s) — королевство, царство
to retain strong influence — удерживать, сохранять сильное влияние
to hold a permanent seat on smth — сохранять постоянное членство в чем-то