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The United Kingdom (or Great Britain) is situated on the British Isles. The British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland Their capitals are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast respectively. The British Isles are separated from the European continent by the North Sea and the English Channel. The western coast of Great Britain is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. The surface of the British Isles varies very much. The north of Scotland is mountainous and is called the Highlands. The south has beautiful valleys and plains. It is called the Lowlands. Mountains are not very high. Ben Nevis in Scotland is the highest mountain (1,343 m). There are a lot of rivers in Great Britain, but they are not very long. The Severn is the longest river, while the Thames is the deepest one. The mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, and the warm waters of Gulf Stream influence on the climate of the British Isles. It is mild the whole year round. The UK is one of the world's smallest countries. Its population is over 57 million. The UK is a highly developed industrial country. It is known as one of the world's largest producers and exporters of machinery, electronics, textile, aircraft and navigation equipment. One of the chief industries of the country is shipbuilding. The UK is a constitutional monarchy. In law, Head of the State is Queen. In practice, Queen reigns, but does not rule. The country is ruled by the elected government with the Prime Minister at the head. The British Parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.