World Facts

Is England Part of Europe?

Geographically, England is a part of Europe. Socially, it's more complicated.

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England is a country covering an area of approximately 50,301 square miles. It shares its land borders with Scotland and Wales to the north-northwest and west respectively. Together with Northern Ireland, the four countries form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The UK is situated off the northwestern coast of the European mainland. Of the four countries, only Northern Ireland shares a land border with another country, Ireland. England, just as the rest of the UK, is located in the continent of Europe. However, the Northern Sea and the English Channel separates it from continental Europe. England is located on the British Isle in the north of the Atlantic Ocean.

Historic Perspective

The question “Is England part of Europe?” has always come up in the past and has been popularized by the Brexit debate. To answer this question, the history of England must be put into perspective. Many years ago (about 6,500 years ago) England was without a doubt part of Europe mainland, thanks to a land bridge which linked it to the continent and allowed people to freely move along the Atlantic coast from the Iberian Peninsula. However, the majority of English are still convinced that they are different from their neighbors, owing their difference to historical events dating back to 1066 when the island was invaded by the Normans and introduced a class system that was different from their neighbors. 

Brief Geography of England

Geopolitically, England covers about two-thirds of the British Isles and other offshore islands such as Isle of Scilly and Isle of Wight. It borders Scotland to the south and Wales to the east. England is the closest part of Britain to the European continent and is separated from France by a 21-mile sea gap. However, the Channel Tunnel connects the two countries. The country is also bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean. London, the capital of England and the largest city in the UK, is located on River Theme in the southeastern part of the country. England’s landscape is mainly characterized by plains and low hills, with uplands and mountainous terrain in the northern and western parts of the country

Administration

Although England is a separate country, it is administered as part of the United Kingdom. As such, its political system is both parliamentary and constitutional monarchy. Interestingly, England has not had a government since 1707 when it joined Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The country is governed by the Parliament of the UK although some of the countries have devolved government. Since the UK is a member of the EU, regional elections are often held in England to elect a Member of the European Parliament. England is divided into four levels of sub-division controlled by different types of administrative entities known as local government. There are nine regions and 48 ceremonial counties. The country also has 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties which may consist of one or more districts.

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