Accountancy in Great Britain

Country overview

The United Kingdom (”UK”), comprising of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland covers approximately 240,000 square km and its climate is mild and temperate. The UK lies northwest of mainland Europe and at its closest point is about 20 miles (32 km) distance. The national language is English.

The UK is part of the European Union (EU), which comprises 28 Member States. In common with a number of other EU Members, it has not joined the “Eurozone” in which a common currency, the Euro (€) is used. The UK currency remains £ Sterling.

In June 2016, the UK held a referendum and decided to leave the EU. The withdrawal process began in March 2017, with the UK expected to leave by April 2019.

The population of the UK is approximately 65 million people, 57 million of whom are located in England and Wales.

The courts and the judicial system are independent of the legislature (Parliament) and Government.

Economic overview

The UK is considered to be Europe’s leading business centre, while the City of London has long been the EU’s financial centre.

Interest rates fell to 0.25% in August

2016 and currently remain at this rate (September 2017), their lowest level since 1684.

The UK does not impose exchange controls and has a free market economy with few restrictions.

Transport infrastructure

The UK has a strong transport infrastructure with a relatively large motorway network for road transport between key commercial centres to air and seaports; there is also an extensive rail network. Every location within the UK is within 100 miles of a container port. Air travel continues to develop within the UK through a strong network of regional airports. The UK also has four “Gateway” airports – Heathrow and Gatwick in London, Manchester in the north of England and Glasgow in Scotland. Stansted and Luton are also extensively used, being relatively close to London.
Business environment

According to the World Bank, it takes just 13 days to set up a business in the UK compared to the European average of 32 days. The UK’s open, transparent, and business friendly system makes it easy to start up a new company and there are no separate rules for overseas companies to operate in the UK.


Latest version updated 11th October 2017

Country Breakdown

65.64

Million

Population

£

Pound Sterling

Currency

$ 2.619

Trillion

GDP

209,331

km2