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Other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the conurbations centred on Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.

The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe.

It is also the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants.

These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history.

British influence can be observed in the language, culture and legal systems of many of its former colonies.

It has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973.

However, on 23 June 2016, a national referendum on the UK's membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave, and its exit from the EU is currently being negotiated.

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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.In 1066, the Normans and their Breton allies invaded England from northern France and after its conquest, seized large parts of Wales, conquered much of Ireland and were invited to settle in Scotland, bringing to each country feudalism on the Northern French model and Norman-French culture.Subsequent medieval English kings completed the conquest of Wales and made an unsuccessful attempt to annex Scotland.Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to its east, the English Channel to its south and the Celtic Sea to its south-south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world.The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland.The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) and colloquially Great Britain (GB) or simply Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe.

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