The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, located in Western Europe. The monarch is officially the head of state, but executive power is exercised by the prime-minister who appoints the cabinet. Legislative powers are vested in Parliament that has an elected House of Commons (the lower house, 650 seats) and a non-elected House of Lords (the upper house, non-fixed membership of about 800). UK’s economy is ranked 10th largest in the world (by GDP PPP) and is 40th by GDP per capita. In a referendum in June 2016 the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union, a key trading partner. What became known as “the Brexit” created lots of uncertainty about future economic health of the country. The economy is highly integrated with the European Union, which buys 47% of British goods and accounts for 52% of total imports. Overall, around 67% of UK's merchandise exports are directed to just three markets (European Union, United States and Switzerland). Total external trade volume is 29% of GDP. The central bank, the Bank of England (BoE), pursues an inflation-targeting approach to monetary policy and maintains a free floating exchange rate regime. UK’s economic weaknesses include: uncertainty surrounding Brexit, high current-account deficit and low productivity growth.