Would someone mind explaining about UK vs England vs Great Britain vs Britain and why Scotland, N Ireland voted to stay but they are leaving EU anyway because England voted to leave or do I have that wrong?
The United Kingdom is the whole thing: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together (and Gibraltar). Great Britain refers to the landmass which England, Wales and Scotland is on.
The referendum was a single, straight forward in/out vote among the entire population of the United Kingdom.
However, the polling and counting of the referendum was done at a constituency level, which allowed for counts of specific regions, cities and areas to be quickly made.
Because of its sheer population in comparison to the rest of the UK, England carried the "out" vote, even though in Northern Ireland and Scotland more people voted to remain in. As the United Kingdom total vote is the one that counts, those regional preferences are in theory being discounted.
However, both Nothern Ireland and Scotland have special status under the UK Constitution, and a limited amount of devolved political power. Because of this, they may be able to make their preferences stick in those areas, despite the overall vote in the UK going against them.
Ok, so - Scotland is a country, right? England is a country, right? So, what is the UK? Also a country? Or, like, a mega-country? I guess I don't see why EU and UK membership need be mutually exclusive