CLP Current Event: December 11, 2018

Why are exits so difficult? Is it harder to leave than to join? Learn about the status of Brexit in this week’s CLP Current Event.

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

News Sources

The Brexit vote is delayed. Here’s what happens next, by Holly Ellyat, CNBC, December 11, 2018
“The delay of the parliamentary vote (a so-called “meaningful vote” that would allow MPs to either voice their support, or not, of the withdrawal agreement) came after a tide of opposition to the deal that she had struck with Brussels. Against this backdrop, May is going back to Europe to try to get the withdrawal agreement amended.”

Theresa May delays parliamentary vote on Brexit deal, by William Booth, Michael Birnbaum and Karla Adam, The Washington Post, December 10, 2018
“E.U. leaders are exasperated by Britain’s endless domestic squabbling. Most view Brexit as a self-inflicted wound, worsened by lackluster leadership. And they wonder how long such a weakened prime minister can hang on to power.”

Brexit in turmoil as UK’s May pulls vote to seek changes to EU divorce, by Guy Falconbridge and Elizabeth Piper, Reuters, December 10, 2018
“The vote postponement marks what many lawmakers cast as the collapse of May’s two-year attempt to forge compromise under which the United Kingdom would exit the EU while staying closely within its orbit.”

Divided UK braces for once-in-a-lifetime Brexit vote, AFP, The Business Times, December 5, 2018
“’There is a difference between what the public want conceptually and what they think should happen now, relative to the current political situation,’ said Survation chief executive Damian Lyons Lowe. The pollster said this contradiction created ‘an impasse that many believe can only be bridged by returning to the polls in another referendum or election’.”

May Loses Control Over Exit Endgame in War With Parliament, by Tim Ross, Robert Hutton, and Jess Shankleman, Bloomberg, December 5, 2018
“On Dec. 11, Parliament will vote finally on whether to accept or reject the 585-page withdrawal agreement that May and the EU reached in November. Few officials in May’s government believe they have much chance of winning, with some Tories predicting a heavy defeat.”

Britain can reverse course on Brexit, EU court adviser says, by Jill Lawless and Raf Casert, PBS Newshour, December 4, 2018
“Prime Minister Theresa May’s government insists it will never reverse the decision to leave, but May faces a tough battle to win backing in Parliament before lawmakers vote next week on whether to accept or reject the divorce agreement she has negotiated with the bloc. Defeat would leave the U.K. facing a chaotic “no-deal” Brexit and could topple the prime minister, her government, or both.”

Why Brexit is tearing the United Kingdom apart, by Jen Kirby, Vox, November 27, 2018
“Some people voted to leave for contradictory reasons. One of the things the Leave camp did very, very well was it harnessed dissatisfaction with the political elite, with the politics of austerity, and those people voted to leave because they saw it as a way of getting more money for public services. There are Conservative leavers who see Brexit as a way of shrinking the state still further. So you can’t find a solution that’s gonna please every Leaver. That’s one of the big problems in Britain at the moment. A lot of falsehoods were spouted during the referendum, but here we are now, and the problem is there isn’t a majority for any outcome.”

Brexit news latest: MPs to vote on Theresa May’s deal on December 11 after five days of debate, by Hatty Collier, Ella Wills, MSN, November 26, 2018
“In a sign that she aims to go over fractious MPs’ heads and appeal directly to voters for their backing, Mrs May said parliamentarians had a “duty” to listen to their constituents before taking their decision in the national interest.”

Questions to Consider

  • What does BREXIT mean?
  • What is the European Union? How is trade conducted under the European Union?
  • Why would Britain want to exit the European Union?
  • Why would the European Union support or fear the exit of the United Kingdom?
  • How does BREXIT affect the United States?
  • Is another referendum possible?
  • Does the future of Prime Minister May and her government rest on the BREXIT issue?
  • Is this a test of who has the greater authority in Britain: the Prime Minister or the Parliament?
  • Is this an example of the struggle between globalism and nationalism? Can any country “go it” alone?
  • Do trade arrangements reflect the way governments work together?
  • What will we know after the December 11 vote? Is this a “to be continued” matter?

Background and More

The non-Brits guide to Brexit (because it affects you too), by Doug Criss, CNN, November 25, 2018

Brexit: A guide to where we are, BBC, November 26, 2018
CLP: Short video clips and great graphics

42 Questions About Brexit That Need Answering, by Mark Leftly, Geoffrey Smith, Tara John, and Kate Samuelson, Time, March 29, 2017

Lesson Plans

Brexit Time: How to Help Your ESL Students Understand Brexit, by Graham Dixon, Busy Teacher
CLP: Activities and strategies appropriate for mainstream middle school, as well as ESL.

Learning and teaching about Brexit, by Titus Alexander, Democracy Matters, October 7, 2017
CLP: Links to wide variety of primary documents, teaching resources, and organizations involved on both sides of Brexit; high school

Constitutional and Legal Connections

Trump and Brexit have triggered two deep constitutional crises, by David Eastwood, The Conversation, January 29, 2018

Oregon Connections

What Does Brexit Mean For Oregon?, by Kristian Foden-Vencil, OPB, June 24, 2016

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
HS.31 Describe United States foreign policy and evaluate its impact on the United States and other countries.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 6, Lesson 28: What is the relationship of the United States to other nations in the world?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 6, Lesson 37: What key challenges does the United States face in the future?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 38: What are the challenges of the participation of the United States in world affairs?