Level 1 | Level 2| Level 3

In June 2016, the U.K. voted to leave the EU in a referendum. 52% of people voted to leave the EU and 48% voted to remain in the EU. In order to begin the process of leaving the EU, the U.K. had to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. This starts a two-year process where the U.K. and the EU have to negotiate the details of how they will separate. The deadline for the end of the negotiation period is March 2019. At this point, the U.K. will have to leave the EU regardless of whether a deal has been made. Although it is believed that article 50 could be reversed, it is unlikely to happen.

The negotiations have been plagued by delays and disagreements on both sides. It had been thought until recently that a deal would not be agreed before the deadline. Instead, a temporary deal has been agreed upon between the U.K. and the EU. This is a temporary deal to ensure that the U.K. doesn’t crash out of the EU in March 2019. The U.K. crashing out of the EU would cause chaos for both the U.K. and the EU as services, laws and agreements would have to stop overnight. This would cause huge damage to businesses, the economies of the U.K. and EU and stop people from being able to travel between the EU and U.K.

The temporary deal has some key agreements that would prevent the shutdown of services in March 2019. The deal has excluded many elements that the U.K. and EU have not been able to agree on so far, such as what to do about the border between Northern and Southern Ireland. The transition deal would then allow the U.K. and EU to continue negotiating the more difficult areas of separation.

According to the draft deal, most things would stay the same between the EU and U.K. Free movement rules would still apply, the U.K. would still have to follow EU laws and trade would remain the same. The transition would end in December 2020. Brexiteers say that the deal is not appropriate because it includes an insurance policy to guarantee that a hard border is not implemented on the Irish border. Critics argue that the deal would keep the U.K. trapped within the EU if they can’t form an agreement regarding the border, making the U.K. indefinitely stuck in the transition period. For Brexiteers, this is entirely unacceptable and one of the key reasons why they are against the deal.

There has been a huge revolt in the U.K. over the draft deal. Brexiteers and Remainers alike are against the deal, although for very different reasons. Remainers argue that the deal would keep the U.K. in the EU without allowing the U.K. to vote and create the laws that the U.K. would have to follow, which is worse than the current situation. Currently, the U.K. follows EU laws but is also part of the decision making process. Remainers, aside from not wanting to leave the EU at all, want to ensure that the U.K. is still able to be part of the decision making process in the future.

Although the draft deal has been agreed upon between the EU and U.K., it still has to be agreed upon by parliament in London. Prime Minister Theresa May has said this deal is the best deal that the U.K. can hope to receive. She said that the options are this deal, no deal or no Brexit. Many in her own party are against the deal and some even believe that she should no longer be Prime Minister. With a minority government, she is already in a precarious position and the loss of support from many in her party will likely mean that the deal is not agreed upon by parliament.

It is unclear what will happen if the U.K. does not agree to the draft deal but the U.K. crashing out of the EU or Brexit not happening at all would become much more likely.

Difficult words

Referendum: A general vote on a single political question.

Invoke: To call on or summon.

Plague: To be filled with trouble.

Elements: Components or parts of something.

Draft: A plan or outline before the final version.

Brexiteers: People who believe the UK should leave the E.U.

Implement: Put something into effect.

Remainers: People who believe the UK should stay in the E.U.

Precarious: Something in a dangerous position.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English: Coming Soon!

Match the Synonym!

1. Referendum A. Afflict
2. Invoke B. Outline
3. Plague C. Stay in the E.U.
4. Elements D. Summon
5. Draft E.  Dangerous
6. Brexiteers F. Leave the E.U.
7. Implement G. A vote
8. Remainers H. Execute
9. Precarious I.  Component

True or False?

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

2.  The votes were an almost 50/50 split. T / F

3.  The U.K. can prolong negotiations as long as they want. T / F

4.  The negotiations have been a rocky process.  T / F

5. The U.K. crashing out of the EU would hurt the economy. T / F

6.  No deal has been made yet.  T / F

7. The temporary deal allows negotiations to continue longer. T / F

8. Most people agree with the new deal. T / F

9. The Prime Minister needs the U.K. government to agree on the deal. T / F

10. There’s a possibility Brexit may not happen. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. negotiate / the / the / have / and / U.K. / The / details / to / EU

2. plagued / by / The / have / negotiations / delays / been

3. deal / temporary / a / This / is

4. transition / end / The / 2020 / would / in / December

5. movement / still / Free / apply / would / rules

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!

Current Temporary Appropriate
Unclear Overnight  Remain
Government Elements  Decision

In June 2016, the U.K. voted to leave the EU in a referendum. 52% of people voted to leave the EU and 48% voted to ____________ in the EU. In order to begin the process of leaving the EU, the U.K. had to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. This starts a two-year process where the U.K. and the EU have to negotiate the details of how they will separate. The deadline for the end of the negotiation period is March 2019. At this point, the U.K. will have to leave the EU regardless of whether a deal has been made. Although it is believed that article 50 could be reversed, it is unlikely to happen.

The negotiations have been plagued by delays and disagreements on both sides. It had been thought until recently that a deal would not be agreed before the deadline. Instead, a ________________ deal has been agreed upon between the U.K. and the EU. This is a temporary deal to ensure that the U.K. doesn’t crash out of the EU in March 2019. The U.K. crashing out of the EU would cause chaos for both the U.K. and the EU as services, laws and agreements would have to stop ______________. This would cause huge damage to businesses, the economies of the U.K. and EU and stop people from being able to travel between the EU and U.K.

The temporary deal has some key agreements that would prevent the shutdown of services in March 2019. The deal has excluded many ____________ that the U.K. and EU have not been able to agree on so far, such as what to do about the border between Northern and Southern Ireland. The transition deal would then allow the U.K. and EU to continue negotiating the more difficult areas of separation.

According to the draft deal, most things would stay the same between the EU and U.K. Free movement rules would still apply, the U.K. would still have to follow EU laws and trade would remain the same. The transition would end in December 2020. Brexiteers say that the deal is not ________________ because it includes an insurance policy to guarantee that a hard border is not implemented on the Irish border. Critics argue that the deal would keep the U.K. trapped within the EU if they can’t form an agreement regarding the border, making the U.K. indefinitely stuck in the transition period. For Brexiteers, this is entirely unacceptable and one of the key reasons why they are against the deal.

There has been a huge revolt in the U.K. over the draft deal. Brexiteers and Remainers alike are against the deal, although for very different reasons. Remainers argue that the deal would keep the U.K. in the EU without allowing the U.K. to vote and create the laws that the U.K. would have to follow, which is worse than the ____________ situation. Currently, the U.K. follows EU laws but is also part of the decision making process. Remainers, aside from not wanting to leave the EU at all, want to ensure that the U.K. is still able to be part of the ___________ making process in the future.

Although the draft deal has been agreed upon between the EU and U.K., it still has to be agreed upon by parliament in London. Prime Minister Theresa May has said this deal is the best deal that the U.K. can hope to receive. She said that the options are this deal, no deal or no Brexit. Many in her own party are against the deal and some even believe that she should no longer be Prime Minister. With a minority ______________, she is already in a precarious position and the loss of support from many in her party will likely mean that the deal is not agreed upon by parliament.

It is ____________ what will happen if the U.K. does not agree to the draft deal but the U.K. crashing out of the EU or Brexit not happening at all would become much more likely.

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?