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Helens, Stockport, Sunderland, Tameside, Trafford, Wakefield, Walsall, Wigan, Wirral, Wolverhamptonunitary authorities: Bath and North East Somerset, Blackburn with Darwen, Bedford, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, City of Bristol, Central Bedfordshire, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Cornwall, Darlington, Derby, Durham County*, East Riding of Yorkshire, Halton, Hartlepool, Herefordshire*, Isle of Wight*, Isles of Scilly, City of Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Luton, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Somerset, Northumberland*, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, Redcar and Cleveland, Rutland, Shropshire, Slough, South Gloucestershire, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Swindon, Telford and Wrekin, Thurrock, Torbay, Warrington, West Berkshire, Wiltshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, Wokingham, York Northern Ireland: 5 borough councils, 4 district councils, 2 city councilsborough councils: Antrim and Newtownabbey; Ards and North Down; Armagh, Banbridge, and Craigavon; Causeway Coast and Glens; Mid and East Antrimdistrict councils: Derry and Strabane; Fermanagh and Omagh; Mid Ulster; Newry, Murne, and Downcity councils: Belfast; Lisburn and Castlereagh Scotland: 32 council areascouncil areas: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, City of Edinburgh, Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, The Scottish Borders, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian Wales: 22 unitary authoritiesunitary authorities: Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, The Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen, Wrexham16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Hamburg prides itself on being a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)12 April 1927 (Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act establishes current name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland); notable earlier dates: 927 (minor English kingdoms united); 3 March 1284 (enactment of the Statute of Rhuddlan uniting England and Wales); 1536 (Act of Union formally incorporates England and Wales); (Acts of Union formally unite England and Scotland as Great Britain); 1 January 1801 (Acts of Union formally unite Great Britain and Ireland as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland); 6 December 1921 (Anglo-Irish Treaty formalizes partition of Ireland; six counties remain part of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland)18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)history: unwritten; partly statutes, partly common law and practiceamendments: proposed as a “bill” for an “Act of Parliament” by the government, by the House of Commons, or by the House of Lords; passage requires agreement by both houses and by the monarch (Royal Assent); note - recent additions include the Human Rights Act of 1998, the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, and the House of Lords (Expulsion and Suspension) Act 2015 (2016)history: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10 to 23 August 1948, approved , promulgated , entered into force amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2012 (2016)chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948)head of government: Prime Minister Theresa MAY (since 13 July 2016)cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime ministerelections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually becomes the prime minister; Theresea MAY (Conservative) assumed office 13 July 2016chief of state: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017; inaugurated 22 March 2017)head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the presidentelections/appointments: president indirectly elected for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention consisting of the 630-member Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and 630 delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held February 2022); chancellor indirectly elected by absolute majority by the Federal Parliament for a 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 17 December 2013 (next to be held following the general election, 24 September 2017)election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (Left Party) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany Af D) 42, Alexander HOLD (Free Voters FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates Party) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 462 for, 150 against, 49 abstentionsdescription: bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Lords (membership not fixed (as of December 2016 there were 809 lords eligible for taking part in the work of the House of Lords consisting of 692 life peers, 91 hereditary peers, and 26 clergy; members appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister and non-party political members recommended by the House of Lords Appointments Commission) and the House of Commons (650 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by first-past-the-post vote to serve 5-year terms unless the House is dissolved earlier)elections: House of Lords - no elections (note - in 1999, as provided by the House of Lords Act, elections were held in the House of Lords to determine the 92 hereditary peers who would remain there; elections are held only as vacancies in the hereditary peerage arise); House of Commons - last held on 8 June 2017 (next to be held in June 2022)election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Conservative 42.4%, Labor 40.0%, Lib Dems 7.4%, SNP 3.0%, Greens 3.8%, DUP 0.9%, Sinn Fein 0.7%, other 5.6%; seats by party - Conservative 317, Labor 262, SNP 35, Lib Dems 12, DUP 10, Sinn Fein 7description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments) and the Federal Diet or Bundestag (631 seats - total seats can vary each electoral term; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)elections: Bundestag - last held on 22 September 2013 (next to be held 24 September 2017); most all postwar German governments have been coalitions; note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an electionelection results: Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 41.5%, SPD 25.7%, Left 8.6%, Greens 8.4%, FDP 4.8%, other 10.9%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 311, SPD 193, Left 64, Greens 63highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 12 justices including the court president and deputy president); note - the Supreme Court was established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and implemented in October 2009, replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdomjudge selection and term of office: judge candidates selected by an independent committee of several judicial commissions, followed by their recommendations to the prime minister, and appointed by Her Majesty The Queen; justices appointed for lifesubordinate courts: England and Wales - Court of Appeal (civil and criminal divisions); High Court; Crown Court; County Courts; Magistrates' Courts; Scotland - Court of Sessions; Sheriff Courts; High Court of Justiciary; tribunals; Northern Ireland - Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland; High Court; county courts; magistrates' courts; specialized tribunalshighest court(s): Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges including the court president, vice-presidents, presiding judges, and other judges, and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels; Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated States and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president of Germany; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 German states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts Alliance Party (Northern Ireland) [Naomi LONG]Conservative and Unionist Party [Theresa MAY]Democratic Unionist Party or DUP (Northern Ireland) [Arlene FOSTER]Green Party of England and Wales or Greens [Caroline LUCAS and Jonathan BARTLEY]Labor (Labour) Party [Jeremy CORBYN]Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) [Tim FARRON]Party of Wales (Plaid Cymru) [Leanne WOOD]Scottish National Party or SNP [Nicola STURGEON]Sinn Fein (Northern Ireland) [Gerry ADAMS]Social Democratic and Labor Party or SDLP (Northern Ireland) [Colum EASTWOOD]Ulster Unionist Party (Northern Ireland) [Mike NESBITT]UK Independence Party or UKIP [interim leader Steve CROWTHER]Alliance '90/Greens [Cem OEZDEMIR and Simone PETER]Alternative for Germany or Af D [Frauke PETRY and Joerg MEUTHEN]Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]Christian Social Union or CSU [Horst SEEHOFER]Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]Left Party or Die Linke [Katja KIPPING and Bernd RIEXINGER]Social Democratic Party or SPD [Martin SCHULZ]ADB (nonregional member), Af DB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, C, CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCADB (nonregional member), Af DB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCchief of mission: Ambassador Sir Nigel Kim DARROCH (since 28 January 2016)chancery: 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008telephone: [1] (202) 588-6500FAX: [1] (202) 588-7870consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Franciscoconsulate(s): Orlando (FL), San Juan (PR)chief of mission: Ambassador Hans Peter WITTIG (since )chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Franciscochief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lewis LUKENSembassy: 24 Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 6AH; note - a new embassy is scheduled to open by the end of 2017 in the Nine Elms area of Wandsworthmailing address: PSC 801, Box 40, FPO AE 09498-4040telephone: [44] (0) 20 7499-9000FAX: [44] (0) 20 7629-9124consulate(s) general: Belfast, Edinburghchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kent LOGSDON (since 20 January 2017)embassy: Pariser Platz 2mailing address: Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlintelephone: [49] (30) 8305-0FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munichblue field with the red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland); properly known as the Union Flag, but commonly called the Union Jack; the design and colors (especially the Blue Ensign) have been the basis for a number of other flags including other Commonwealth countries and their constituent states or provinces, and British overseas territoriesthree equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold field"name: ""God Save the Queen""lyrics/music: unknownnote: in use since 1745; by tradition, the song serves as both the national and royal anthem of the UK; it is known as either ""God Save the Queen"" or ""God Save the King,"" depending on the gender of the reigning monarch; it also serves as the royal anthem of many Commonwealth nations""name: ""Das Lied der Deutschen"" (Song of the Germans)lyrics/music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDNnote: adopted 1922; the anthem, also known as ""Deutschlandlied"" (Song of Germany), was originally adopted for its connection to the March 1848 liberal revolution; following appropriation by the Nazis of the first verse, specifically the phrase, ""Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles"" (Germany, Germany above all) to promote nationalism, it was banned after 1945; in 1952, its third verse was adopted by West Germany as its national anthem; in 1990, it became the national anthem for the reunited Germany"lion (Britain in general); lion, Tudor rose, oak (England); lion, unicorn, thistle (Scotland); dragon, daffodil, leek (Wales); shamrock, flax (Northern Ireland); national colors: red, white, blue (Britain in general); red, white (England); blue, white (Scotland); red, white, green (Wales)citizenship by birth: nocitizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 yearsdual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from governmentresidency requirement for naturalization: 8 years The UK, a leading trading power and financial center, is the third largest economy in Europe after Germany and France.