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National debt

A term used to describe the estimated total indebtedness of the U.K. central government to its own nationals and, to a lesser extent, persons or bodies overseas. Although the greater part of the debt is permanent and irredeemable, the identity of the persons to whom it is owed is by no means constant as the slips of paper m which comprise it are constantly being bought and sold in the market.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.