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The U.K. voted to leave the European Union in 2016. The European Union is a group of countries which are joined together very closely. They can trade with each other freely, people can live in other EU countries with no visa and there are many other benefits. However, in 2016 the U.K. decided to leave the group. The U.K. wants to distance itself from the group but people in the U.K. disagree about how distant the U.K. should be from the EU. Some people still want a close relationship and others do not.

Some people want the U.K. to stay close to the EU. These people would like a close relationship and friendship between the EU and U.K., maybe even keeping some of the same benefits as before. Some people want the U.K. to be very separate. They don’t want any of the same rules that the U.K. had to follow to be in the EU. These people want the U.K. to decide everything for itself, even if that means there are no benefits. Lastly, some people are still trying to stop the U.K. from leaving the EU at all. They think that the vote to leave was a mistake and that leaving the EU would hurt the U.K. too much. They want to have another vote because they say that people have changed their minds about leaving the EU.

Since 2017, the U.K. and the EU have been negotiating how the U.K. will exit the EU. The negotiation period takes two years and will end in March 2019, then the U.K. will leave the EU. Negotiations have been very difficult because both sides want different things. Both the U.K. and the EU want to have an agreement so that they are not hurt by the separation. It’s difficult to agree because the U.K. and EU want very different things.

Finally, the U.K. and the EU made an agreement in November 2018. Many people in the U.K. are not happy about the agreement. People have said that the agreement is not what anybody in the U.K. wants because it doesn’t cater to any of the different groups in the U.K.

Now, the U.K. Prime Minister has to convince the U.K. government that the agreement is good and that the U.K. should sign it. Many people do not think she will be able to do this.

Difficult words

Trade: The action of buying and selling goods and services.

Distance: To create space between things.

Separate: To take things apart, disconnect.

Negotiating: To discuss and reach an agreement.

Agreement: To all believe the same idea.

Cater: To provide what is needed.

Convince: To make someone believe what you want them to.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English: Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

 1. Trade  A. Space
 2. Distance  B. Provide
 3.  Negotiating  C.  Persuade
 4. Cater  D. Buy and Sell
 5. Convince  E.  Discuss

True or False?

1. The EU voted to leave the U.K.  T / F

2. People in the EU can live in other EU countries without a visa. T / F

3.   Everyone believes the U.K. should stay in the EU. T / F

4.  The EU and the U.K. have reached an agreement. T / F

5.  The U.K. Prime Minister will definitely convince the U.K. government to sign the agreement. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. trade / with / can / other / freely / They / each

2. wants / The / U.K. / to / distance / itself

3. These / close / like / people / would / relationship / a

4. vote / They / have / another / to / want

5. difficult / been / very / Negotiations / have

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English: Coming Soon!

Agreement Negotiations Benefits
Relationship Together Convince

The U.K. voted to leave the European Union in 2016. The European Union is a group of countries which are joined _____________ very closely. They can trade with each other freely, people can live in other EU countries with no visa and there are many other benefits. However, in 2016 the U.K. decided to leave the group. The U.K. wants to distance itself from the group but people in the U.K. disagree about how distant the U.K. should be from the EU. Some people still want a close relationship and others do not.

Some people want the U.K. to stay close to the EU. These people would like a close _________________ and friendship between the EU and U.K., maybe even keeping some of the same benefits as before. Some people want the U.K. to be very separate. They don’t want any of the same rules that the U.K. had to follow to be in the EU. These people want the U.K. to decide everything for itself, even if that means there are no __________. Lastly, some people are still trying to stop the U.K. from leaving the EU at all. They think that the vote to leave was a mistake and that leaving the EU would hurt the U.K. too much. They want to have another vote because they say that people have changed their minds about leaving the EU.

Since 2017, the U.K. and the EU have been negotiating how the U.K. will exit the EU. The negotiation period takes two years and will end in March 2019, then the U.K. will leave the EU. ________________ have been very difficult because both sides want different things. Both the U.K. and the EU want to have an agreement so that they are not hurt by the separation. It’s difficult to agree because the U.K. and EU want very different things.

Finally, the U.K. and the EU made an agreement in November 2018. Many people in the U.K. are not happy about the ________________. People have said that the agreement is not what anybody in the U.K. wants because it doesn’t cater to any of the different groups in the U.K.

Now, the U.K. Prime Minister has to _____________ the U.K. government that the agreement is good and that the U.K. should sign it. Many people do not think she will be able to do this.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Have you heard about Brexit before? If so, what do you know about it?
4. Have you ever been to Great Britain?
5. Have you ever been to Europe?
6. What do you know about the European Union?
7. What do you think about the benefits that are shared between countries in the EU?
8. Would you like your country to be part of a similar agreement?
9. Do you think a similar agreement would be beneficial to your country with your neighbouring countries?
10. Are the relationships between your country and the neighbouring countries good?
11. Would you like to be able to live and work visa-free in any of the countries surrounding yours?
12. What are the advantages of the EU?
13.  What are the disadvantages of the EU?
14. Do you think there should be a second Brexit vote?
15. What is the biggest political issue in your country at the moment?
16. Many people voted for Brexit for immigration reasons. Do you think this is a good reason?
17. Why do you think older people voted to leave the EU and younger people voted to remain?
18. Do young and old people have very different beliefs in your country?
19. Will Brexit affect you or your country at all?
20. Do you think the U.K. should leave or remain in the EU?