【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. electorate / ɪˈlɛk tər ɪt / (n.) – a group that includes all voters
Example: The electorate voted for a new president.
2. poll / poʊl / (n.) – an activity wherein people are asked questions to get their information or opinion on something
Example: The organizers of the event asked for feedback through a poll.
3. hold (something) back / hoʊld bæk / (idiom) – to prevent the development or progress of someone or something
Example: Corruption in the government holds the country back.
4. border / ˈbɔr dər / (n.) – the line that separates a country from another
Example: The country’s borders are heavily guarded to prevent entry of illegal immigrants.
5. alliance / əˈlaɪ əns / (n.) – a union or agreement in which two parties agree to work together
Example: The alliance between the two countries has ensured fair trade between them.
Read the text below.
The British electorate participated in a referendum—a poll on a national issue—on whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union (EU) or not.
The decision to leave the EU, nicknamed Brexit, won after garnering 52% of votes. After the referendum, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation effective in October. Cameron is against leaving the EU, and he believes that someone else should lead the country after Brexit.
Some British people are pro-Brexit because they believe that the EU’s regulations are holding the United Kingdom back economically. Aside from this, the EU controls the country’s borders, and many British want to take back control because they are worried about the influx of migrants and refugees.
Immigration statistics from UK’s Office for National Statistics revealed that migration rose to 333,000 in 2015. This statistic is believed to have encouraged people to vote for Brexit, as a survey revealed that 80% of British who see immigration as negative were pro-Brexit.
Despite the results, the United Kingdom will still be an EU member until it officially begins negotiations to leave. Negotiations of Brexit terms are expected to take two years. Once Brexit becomes official, the country would no longer reap the benefits of being in the union.
The EU is a political and economic alliance between European countries. It is formed to ensure peace and strong trading relationships between member countries. The EU allows trade between member countries without tax on imported goods. It also allows EU citizens to work in any member country without needing a visa. Before the United Kingdom, no country has ever tried to leave the EU. The United Kingdom’s departure will reduce the union to 27 member countries.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you agree with the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU? Why or why not?
· Why do you think many British people see immigration as negative? Discuss.
· What is the importance of having a nationwide poll about important national issues?
· Is there a downside to giving citizens too much freedom? Discuss.