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People in the Northern Isles are bilingual in English and an unwritten creolized form of Old Norse; in the Channel Islands, the Norman French patois is nearly extinct; and in Cornwall, there are no natural speakers of Cornish, although the language has been reconstructed.

In Northern Ireland, the Irish language has been reintroduced as a means of revitalizing Celtic pride among Belfast Catholics. Symbolic attachment may reinforce localism or take the form of personal commitments that extend across socioeconomic strata.

Except for some areas of barren upland and bog, most of the land is suitable for agriculture and has been grazed or cultivated since the Bronze Age.

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These differences are associated with loyalties to one's place of birth or residence and for many people are important aspects of self-identity; non-English native languages are little spoken but in recent years have gained significance as cultural and political symbols.

These languages include Scots Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, and Irish (commonly referred to as the Celtic languages); there is also the Old Norse language of the Northern Isles (Orkney and especially Shetland) and the Norman French patois of the Channel Islands.

Until 1920, Ireland was incorporated within the United Kingdom.

Movement across the Irish Sea had existed since the eighteenth century, even among Ireland's poorest people.

Any citizen of Great Britain may be referred to as a Briton. The land area of Great Britain is 89,000 square miles (230,500 square kilometers), with an additional 5,400 square miles (13,986 square kilometers) in Northern Ireland, giving it one of the highest population densities in the Western world.