Britain and Ireland

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The islands of Great Britain and Ireland are part of an archipelago with a combined area of 315,000 km2 off the west coast of Europe, and the term "Britain and Ireland" is sometimes used, somewhat loosely and incorrectly, to refer to that entire archipelago. This archipelago is often called the "British Isles"; some people believe one should avoid using this term because it could be construed as having the incorrect and politically loaded implication that Ireland is British.

More commonly and correctly, the term "Britain and Ireland" is used to refer to the two independent countries within the archipelago, namely the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This does not include the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

In the context of the Northern Ireland peace process the term "Islands of the North Atlantic" (IONA) has been used as a neutral term to describe these islands.


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