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What are Britain’s main imports and exports?


Despite having only one per cent of the world’s population, Britain is the fourth largest trading nation in the world. Machinery and transport, manufactures and chemicals are Britain’s largest export earners. Since the 1970s, oil has contributed significantly to Britain’s overseas trade, both in exports and a reduced need to import oil. British Petroleum (BP) is Britain’s biggest and Europe’s second biggest industrial company.
British pharmaceutical companies make three of the world’s best selling medicines:‘Zantac’(made by Glaxo Wellcome) for ulcer treatment;‘Tenormin’(ICI),a beta-blocker for high blood press-ure; and‘AZT’(Glaxo Wellcome), a drug used in the treatment of AIDS.
Britain is also a major supplier of plastics, aerospace products, electrical and electronic equipment. Britain is responsible for 10 per cent of the world’s export of services, including banking, insurance,
stockbroking, consultancy and computer programming.
Britain imports six times as many manufactures as basic materials. EU countries account for seven of the 10 leading suppliers of goods to Britain and the United States is Britain’s biggest supplier of imports. Food, beverages and tabacco account for half of non-manufactured imports, whilst machinery and road vehicles account for two-thirds of finished imported manufactures. Other major imports include chemicals, fuels, clothing and footwear.


What does the Union Flag stand for and how
should it be flown?

The flag of Britain, commonly known as the Union Jack (which derives from the use of the Union Flag on the jack-staff of naval vessels), embodies the emblems of tree countries under one Sovereign. The emblems that appear on the Union Flag are the crosses of three patron saints:

the red cross of St. George, for England, On a white ground;
the white diagonal cross, or saltire, of St. Andrew, for Scotland, on a blue ground.
the red diagonal cross of St. Patrick, for Ireland, on a white ground.
The final version of the Union Flag, including the cross of St. Patrick, appeared in 1801, following the union of Great Britain with Ireland. The cross remains in the flag although now only Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.
Wales is not represented in the Union Flag because, when the first version of the flag appeared. Wales was already united with England. The national flag of Wales, a red dragon on a field of white and green, dates from the 15th century and is widely used throughout the Principality. The dragon as a symbol was probably introduced into Britain by the Roman legions. According to tradi-tion, the red dragon appeared on a crest borne by the legendary King


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