General Information

The Government System in the UK

The United Kingdom, comprising Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland is a federal constitutional monarchy under the united governmental parliamentary authority.

Parliament is the highest legal reference in the country and consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state and the sovereign, but not the head of government and remains in political affairs.

The Prime Minister is the leader of Her Majesty’s Government and is ultimately responsible for all policy and decisions.

The government system in the UK


The weather in the UK changes rapidly and unpredictable due to the country’s geographical location.

The coldest months of the year are usually between December and March, while the warmest months vary between May to August, but it is usually cloudy and rainy throughout the year.

That is due to the countries geographical location.

Weather Forecast from the UK Met Office 


The UK is an island located in the Northwest of Europe. It is surrounded by the North Sea, English Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of islands and areas under the British Monarchy like the Isle of Man and overseas British settlements.

London is the capital of the United Kingdom.

Other main cities include Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds to the north in England. 

Cardiff and Swansea are part of Wales.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are part of Scotland.

Belfast and Londonderry are part of Northern Ireland  

Britain and France are connected via the Eurostar, an international under-the-sea high-speed railway service starting from near Dover; with freight and passenger trains to facilitate transport between the two countries.

UK Geography

Freedom of Faith and Belief

The UK is one of Europe’s most diverse and multi-faith countries and people can practice their religious rituals freely.

It is illegal for anyone to discriminate against others on basis of their belief or religion. If you fall a victim to religious discrimination, you must report it.



It is illegal to discriminate against people on basis of their colour, race, ethnic origins, ethnicity, gender, age, sex or sexual orientation. If you become subject to any of these forms of discrimination, you must report it.

If you are found to discriminate against anyone you might be subject to legal action and taken to court.

Holidays in the United Kingdom

In England and Wales, there are 8 national public holidays, (bank holidays) every year. Scotland has 9 bank holidays and Ireland has 10 bank holidays each year. Shops are generally open during the bank holidays, but official government offices and certain employment sectors are closed. 

Other holidays take place during Easter in the spring and Christmas in winter.

Up to date Holidays in different regions across the UK

Value Added Tax

There is a 20% tax (Value Added Tax = VAT) added on most commercial products. You can get the value refunded to you at the airport when leaving the UK.

 How to get a VAT refund

  • Get a VAT 407 form from the retailer - they might ask for proof that you’re eligible, for example your passport 
  • Show the goods, the completed form and your receipts to customs at the point when you leave the UK 
  • Customs will approve your form if everything is in order, you then take the approved form to get paid

If you’re changing planes in another EU country and checking your goods with your luggage, you must do step 2 in the UK when you check in.

You can either get paid immediately at a refund booth, for example at the airport, or send the approved form to the retailer or their refund company. The retailer will tell you how you’ll get paid.

Be aware that the VAT tax refund queue at airports are usually very long, and you are required to complete your VAT refund prior to check in. So ensure you have plenty of time to complete your VAT before departure.

VAT Tax refund information

Goods not subject to VAT

  • You cannot get a VAT refund on purchases after they have been dispatched.
  • Children’s’ garments, books and food are tax-free.

VAT Tax rates on goods and services