- The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch.
- King or Queen is the head of state while Prime Minister leads the government with the Cabinet and ministers.
- The Government is responsible for deciding how the country is run and for managing it. To make new laws or raise new taxes the Government needs Parliament’s agreement.
- The Cabinet meets to discuss the most important issues for the government and is made of senior members of the government. It is the most important decision-maker in the government.
- Ministers come from House of Commons and House of Lords. They are being chosen by the Prime Minister. They are responsible for their departments.
- Parliament is the highest legislative authority in the UK.
- It monitors the work of government and also checks and approves new laws.
- It is also known as the “Legislature”.
- The headquarters of parliament are located at Houses of Parliament in London.
- The United Kingdom has a unitary system of government but some powers have been given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Only the United Kingdom´’s Government can represent it abroad.
- National Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: The government runs the country. It is responsible for developing and executing policy and for planning laws. It is also known as the ‘Executive’.
- The United Kingdom has a civil service that acts impartially. It doesn’t change when the government changes.
- It does the practical and administrative work of government.
- The British constitution is uncodified; it is flexible.
Symbols of the State’s Powers and the Institutions
- Flags: Each country has its flag.
- The Union Jack is the national flag of the whole United Kingdom. It is the combination of English, Scottish, Northern Ireland’s and Welsh flags.
- Saint George’s Cross is the national flag of England.
- The Saint Andrew’s Cross is the national flag of Scotland.
- The Baner Cymru or Y Ddraig Goch is the national flag of Wales.
Only official flag in Nothern Ireland is Union Jack and it is represented in it by The Saint Patrick’s Saltire.
- National Anthems:
- The British National Anthem is God Save the Queen. It represents the whole of the United Kingdom.
- At most international sporting events Scotland uses “Flower of Scotland” as its national anthem.
- Anthem of Wales is Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Old Land of My Fathers).
- Northern Ireland does not have anthem but songs Londonderry Air and Ireland’s Call are used at some events to represent it.