How Many Countries in the World

I never realised how difficult some questions were to answer, but this one: “How Many Countries in the World” caused some stress in discussions. And some Internet sites were no help either.

Is England a country or NOT ? Is the UK a country in its own right?

Wikipedia: Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, with its own legal system and devolved legislature (Parliament)

Wikipedia: England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.

Wikipedia: Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.

Wikipedia: The Wikipedia list of countries does NOT include either Scotland OR England OR Wales, but refers to the United Kingdom only. This site states list 240 independent sovereign states, 60 dependent areas and five disputed territories, but has Great Britain and United Kingdom listed as two separate countries. But no mention of Scotland, England or Wales.

Then there is the Isle of Man… Where are they listed? They do not seem to exist.
The Isle of Man has never been part of the United Kingdom, nor it a part of the European Union. They have their Government, legal and Taxation system. do however list the Isle of Man as a country, but not England, Scotland or Wales.


How different is the United Kingdom to the European Union?

The Treaty on European Union was signed on 7 February 1992, creating a Union of member countries from Europe.
The Acts of Union of 1 May 1707 created the The United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Wales

In 1707 the Act of Union abolished the separate Parliaments for Scotland and England, and created a single Parliament at Westminster in London.

The 1969-73 Royal Commission on the Constitution speaks of the four “countries” that make up the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This commission led to the the Scotland Act 1978 and the Wales Act 1978, and the Scottish and Welsh devolution referendums on 1 March 1979.

In the Scottish referendum 74% voted in favour of a Scottish Parliament.
In the Welsh referendum only 11.8% of the electorate voted in favour of devolution.

The Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 gave both countries devolution, with the National Assembly for Wales, and the Scottish parliament being set up again in 1998.

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