The Great British Venn Diagram

I was asked the other day what the difference is between the United Kingdom and Great Britain.  Sam provides the clearest explanation I've found so far.

(Via groovy mother)

Comments (5)
  1. dave says:

    Actually, the venn diagram is right but the explanation is not entirely correct.

    The United Kingdom is not a country but Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales are. The United Kingdom is a collection of countries.

    Anyway, the best and clearest description is actually at although you may find that even those of us from Great Britain might not agree with it all.

  2. garlicsmack says:

    I live in Wales although I’m English, and of Scottish heritage, with Irish blood…

    I’m pretty certain that the United Kingdom is the only sovereign territory here (as well as the Republic of Ireland, obv). Wales is a principality, ie a nation. It has no status as a ‘country’, per se. Northern Ireland too is a nation, but not a principality in the same way. Scotland is awkward, as I THINK it is a country; however, I don’t think it’s a COUNTRY country. Although it has a Parliament (which is what sets is apart from Wales and Northern Ireland), as it is devolved and has no real status of its own, it isn’t sovereign. England, meanwhile, has it’s status caught up in the political definition of the United Kingdom and nothing else (it comprises about 60% of the UK).

    In short: no-one really knows what belongs to what. And everyone is bizarrely happy, given the situation.

  3. garlicsmack says:

    ha HA! Not to confuse things, but I think this may clear it up:

    A country and a state isn’t the same thing. The countries comprise the state, although the definition of country and nation is somewhat left in the air. Although this is somewhat hypothesising, I would assume that:

    England and Wales together, and Scotland, are countries. Wales and Northern Ireland are principalities. The four together are a state. The British Isles is a purely geographical term.

    Hope this hasn’t confused things too much, I’ve been drinking.


  4. Ollie says:

    What about the Falkland Isles?

  5. MSDNArchive says:

    Falkland Islands part of British Isles…

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