The U.K. once ruled the largest empire in the history of mankind; today, the union of its four constituent countries is at risk as Scotland pushes for independence and Brexit threatens the fragile peace agreement in Northern Ireland. But it remains one of the world's largest economies, a major financial center and a global powerhouse of sport and culture. It is home to some of the world's best universities, though its biggest gift to the world may be the English language — that, or the Beatles.
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