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Project

Brexit

! Background: In June 2016, British voters approved a referendum to exit the European Union (EU). This
became known as Brexit.

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 countries. The original idea, 60 years ago, was to prevent
another European war by promoting economic cooperation. Over time, this idea has evolved into a
single market across the continent one that allows for the free movement of goods, services,
people, and money.

Now, following the Brexit vote, British officials must figure out how to leave EU, but in a way that
protects the British people and their economy.

! The Project: Your class will split into two Brexit groups each one establishing its own plan for how to
leave the European Union. The remaining students will represent individuals directly affected by Brexit.
These individuals will research their own economic priorities, ask tough questions of their elected
officials, and ultimately vote on which group offers the strongest Brexit plan.

" Option 1: This is the hard exit option. Your group believes that membership in the European
Union has been terribly harmful, and that a lot more economic and political independence will help
Britain flourish. Your group believes the EU single market mostly benefits wealthy and well-
connected British businessmen, not to mention poor immigrants from other countries. Leaving the
EU means helping out Britains forgotten middle class, in your opinion, and thats what you want
your Brexit plan to focus on.

" Option 2: This is the soft exit option. Your group believes that Britain should maintain strong
economic ties with its European allies, even after Brexit is complete. Your challenge is two-fold:
show that most British people can actually benefit from international trade and free movement; but
formulate a plan that will still address the concerns of all those folks (more than 50%) who voted to
leave the EU. With companies already threatening to leave Britain, you hope to stabilize the
economy and reassure British citizens.

! Presentations: Each group must put together a website leading up to our big debate on the final day of
the project. Make sure to, at the very least, cover the following areas on this site

" Trade Negotiations: Develop specific policy proposals to alter the movement of goods, services,
people, and money into / out of Britain. (Come up with at least one proposal for each category.) Be
sure to use data, charts, maps, and/or video to show why these changes are necessary.

" Propaganda & Publicity: Create original advertising to highlight the effectiveness of your groups
plan. Consider one of the following formats: radio podcast; whiteboard video; scripted & recorded
skit; scripted & recorded song; TV infomercial.

" Speeches: Draft an original speech to deliver at our final debate, and be sure to post the transcript
on the website. As part of this effort, you should also be thinking about how to address the
concerns of the British people in the room. They have a wide variety of positions, but you should
find a way to make individual appeals to each one.

The British People: Heres what youll be doing this week


a) Embrace you character. Set up (fake) social media accounts, develop your characters unique voice, share
the content thats important to you with the group.


b) Become an expert. Each profile contains one big issue for the character to focus on. Study this issue in-depth
and how you think it might or should change as a result of Brexit.

c) Pose tough questions. Based on your profile and your issue area, youll be submitting questions to each of
the option groups and youll expect well-researched answers in the final debate.


Profiles: Choose one

Northern Irish carpenter: You live on the border of Northern Island (in Britain) and Ireland (its own independent
country). Both countries are EU members, which has enabled you to freely cross the border to do carpentry jobs and
also to visit your family members. With Brexit, you fear the British government will have to build a giant, fortified wall
between the two countries and that it will become a lot more difficult for you to cross into Ireland. Your big issue:
protecting free movement between Britain and neighbors.

Retired Bus Driver: You live in Wales. Both you and your spouse are retired from government jobs; you were a city
bus driver for more than 30 years. Britain contributes $19 billion to the EU, and youve heard that leaving the EU
would put an extra $300 back in the pocket of every British citizen. You also worry that immigrants from poorer EU
countries come in and drive up the cost of your health care. Your big issue: protecting British pensioners and retirees.

Teacher: You teach history and really appreciate the diversity of students in your classroom they come from all
parts of the EU because their parents came here to work. However, youve developed a lot of pride in British history
and culture and you think the EU tramples on all of that. You worry that EU bureaucrats have, over time, gained
more political and economic control over your life and so you like the idea of the British taking back their country.
Your big issue: reclaiming British pride and independence.

British EU Employee: You were born and raised in Britain, but work as an economist at the EU headquarters in
Belgium. One the one hand, you support the EU and want Britain to keep strong ties with other EU members. On the
other hand, youre angry with your country. You dont think British officials should just be able to pick and choose
what trade policies to keep. In fact, you think the EU should penalize Britain give it the cold shoulder. After all, you
want to discourage other EU countries from thinking about leaving. Your big issue: keeping the EU strong.

Environmentalist: Like most of your friends, you voted to remain in the European Union. The EU has many strong
environmental regulations that companies must follow in order to sell their products on the single market. With
Brexit, you fear that nothing will stop British manufacturers from polluting heavily once again. Your big issue:
protecting Britains environment and combating climate change.

Banker: You make a pretty nice living as a corporate banker in London, but you also have three kids and the cost of
living is very high. After the Brexit vote, your bank announced its intention to move most jobs over to Frankfurt
because Germany will remain an EU member with access to the single market. You fear losing your job. Your big
issue: making sure corporations and banks do not flee Britain.

Factory Worker: You work in a plastics factory in northern England. Over the past decade, your salary has actually
declined and you were forced to sign a zero hours contract with your employer. This means the employer only pays
you when she needs you. You blame the poorer countries in the EU their people are willing to do more work for
less money, and you believe this explains much of the job insecurity that youve been facing. Your big issue:
protecting working class jobs and incomes.