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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe.Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands.British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.However, on 23 June 2016, a non-binding referendum on the UK's membership of the EU resulted with 51.9% of UK voters favouring a leave, and now the country's prospective exit from the EU is being negotiated.The UK is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7 finance ministers, the G7 forum, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952.
The capital of the United Kingdom and its largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million, the fourth-largest in Europe and second-largest in the European Union.
Other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the conurbations centred on Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.
The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the United Kingdom, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.
Prior to the creation of the United Kingdom, Wales had already been conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of England.