The week that could change Britain forever

Deal or no deal: “Our absolute focus should be on working to get a deal,” said Theresa May last month. © Getty

Should the UK leave the European Union? It is set to do so on March 29. This week, politicians will vote on how exactly it should happen — potentially shaping Britain’s future for good.

What’s happening

It has now been two years and eight months since UK voters chose to leave the European Union (EU). In three weeks, the UK is going to do just that. However, the terms of Brexit are still unclear.

This week, Parliament will decide whether to accept the prime minister’s plan — or leave without a deal.

Find out more

What exactly is going to happen?

On Tuesday: MPs in Parliament will vote on the deal that Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated with the EU. They have already said no to this deal once before because they disagreed with its plan for Northern Ireland. May tried to get changes to this part of the deal, but the EU has not wanted to re-open talks.

On Wednesday: If May’s deal is rejected again, MPs will vote on whether to leave the EU without a deal at all. Many have warned that this will cause chaos, as the laws which govern things like airports and trade will suddenly stop working. Most MPs do not want this.

On Thursday: If MPs say no to “no deal”, they will vote on whether to delay the start of Brexit.

Should Brexit happen at all?

Some say…

It should not. The EU has been good for the UK. It makes it easy to go on holiday or move to a new country in Europe. Businesses are able to trade with people in France or Germany as easily as they would with Yorkshire or Scotland. This has been good for the economy. Most of all, it is better to work closely with your neighbours than to shut them out.

Others think…

It should. The UK is a strong country that will thrive on being more independent. It should be allowed to make new laws without worrying about people in other countries getting involved. Any short-term problems will be worth it in the end. Most importantly, people in the UK voted for Brexit. Ignoring their wishes would seriously damage democracy.

You Decide

  1. Do you prefer working in a team, or making your own decisions?

Activities

  1. Imagine that you are an MP for your local area. How would you vote on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week? Write one sentence explaining your decision on each day.

Some People Say...

“In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.”

Robert A. Heinlein

What do you think?

Word Watch

European Union
A group of 28 European countries, including the UK (for now). They share laws and trade freely between countries. The EU also allows people to travel freely across borders.
Parliament
The place where politicians vote on new laws.
MPs
Members of Parliament. Politicians who are elected to vote on new laws on behalf of their local area.
Negotiated
Discussed and agreed.
Trade
Buying and selling.
Economy
A country’s finances.
Democracy
Making decisions by voting.

Subjects

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