What’s the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?

With the up coming national referendum to be held in Scotland on 18 September 2014 to decide whether or not Scotland is to become an independent country, we thought it might be a good time to reacquaint everyone to what the difference is between Great Britain and the United Kingdom. – Deskarati

1aaGreat Britain, also known as Britain, is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The island is part of the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, consisting of three countries: England, Scotland and Wales. The Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the kingdoms of England (comprising modern-day England and Wales) and Scotland in 1707. Subsequently, in 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain united with the neighbouring Kingdom of Ireland forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

United KingdomThe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, is a sovereign state located off the north-western coast of continental Europe. The country includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. The United Kingdom consists of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The latter three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capital cities, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively. Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are Crown dependencies and are not part of the UK.

When five-sixths of Ireland seceded the United Kingdom in 1922, the state was renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

So what will it be called if Scotland becomes independant?

new UK

It could be said that the term “UK” might continue to stand for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, given it is a term people know and that the Union of the Scottish and English crowns would continue under independence.

Using the title Great Britain to refer to the Union of England, Wales and Northern Ireland would be incorrect as it would include Scotland, which in the event of independence would no longer be part of this union, and exclude Northern Ireland which would remain part of the Union.

So in all probability it will be called ‘The United Kingdom’. – Deskarati

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