It’s simple really:

The British Isles are a group of over six thousand islands in the North Atlantic, off the north-west coast of continental Europe. The Ancient Greek writer Ptolemy first wrote about:

  • Great (bigger island) Britain
  • Lesser (smaller island) Britain (Ireland)

The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) includes England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland have devolved governments, so they decide many of their own domestic policies.

The term ‘Britain’ is commonly used to describe the United Kingdom, with the assumption that Northern Ireland is included e.g. The British Government.

Southern Ireland is a republic and independent of the UK.

Jersey & Guernsey, the two main Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man are Crown Dependencies; they are self-governing, but the United Kingdom government is responsible for certain areas of policy, such as defence and foreign affairs.

If you want to know how this all came about, send me a message and I will send you the full Motley Thoughts letter (for free) that gives more insight into the history of our islands.