Connect with us:

Learning & teaching about Brexit

Brexit is a massive political change process. Over the next few years Parliament will make numerous decisions that change the future of Britain . What happens depends on who has a say in the process.

Most industries and major interest groups employ analysts and lobbyists to help them promote their interests. Most citizens rely on the media, politicians and pressure groups to represent their interests, but they also have their own agenda and interests, so it is hard for people to make sense of what’s happening, to know what’s best for them, still less to have a say.

The timetable is tight:

  • Eight Brexit Bills will go through Parliament;
  • A withdrawal deal with the EU negotiator by Dec 2017, covering citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland border and exit bill;
  • A “framework for future relations” by Oct 2018, covering trade, security, and everything else;
  • Ratification by UK Parliament, EU Council and Parliament by 29 Mar 2019:
  • And then a transition period, if agreed by EU, until March 2022 or beyond.

There are some education resources on Brexit, listed below. But events are moving so fast it is important to

  • know the key players and primary sources,
  • understand the big picture, including the origins of the EU, the politics of trade and the competing political / ideological camps driving the process;
  • follow the political process in Parliament.

Key documents

To understand the UK and EU positions, the three key sets of documents are:

  1. The EU’s negotiating guidelines, its transparency policy and instructions for their chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Two position papers set out his “essential principles” on citizens’ rights and money.
  2. The UK’s declaration to leave the EU, the Prime Minister’s 12 priorities on 17 Jan at Lancaster House and the Brexit Collection on EU negotiations.
  3. Parliament’s impartial analysis of the issues, including latest news and possible impact on education, jobs and other areas. You can subscribe to email updates.

Impartial information and analysis

Other sources of impartial information and analysis are available from:

What EU Thinks provides information on UK attitudes to the EU before and since the EU Referendum, run by NatCen Social Research, including poll results, analysis and links to other sites.

The UK in a Changing Europe: research and analysis led by Prof. Anand Menon at King’s College London.

The Institute for Government provides detailed analysis of the Brexit process and the challenges for the government, business and citizens.

Full Fact is an independent fact-checking charity which answers a wide range of questions about the Brexit process, UK politics and EU.

Independent points of view

There are many sources of thoughtful analysis and information from different positions, such as:

  • The Bar Council’s Brexit Papers aim to address pressing legal issues in leaving the EU (see also online published collection)
  • Bruegel is an independent European think tank that aims to improve economic policy with open and fact-based research, analysis and debate.
  • Reuter’s Breaking Views offers analysis and comment, from financial journalists
  • POLITICO is a global US news, information and political research company which publishes a daily Brexit Briefing
  • Open Europe is a free market think tank
  • Federal Trust is a research institute which studies federalism, particularly in relation to the EU and Britain’s place in it.
  • Ideas on Europe (UACES) is the academic association for European Studies.
  • LSE Blogs on Brexit and European politics, and events on Brexit
  • Social Europe promotes “progressive and inclusive societies, sustainable economies and responsible businesses as well as dynamic civil societies”

Pro-EU analysis and campaigns

Campaigns for the UK to stay in the EU, or keep the relationship as open as possible, include:

  • Another Europe is Possible campaigns to democratise the Brexit process and stay in Europe to change it from progressive left position
  • Best For Britain aims to reset Brexit and have all options open for our relationship with the EU so Parliament can do what’s best for Britain.
  • European Movement UK is a cross-party campaign for EU membership
  • Infacts aims to make a “fact-based case against a destructive Brexit”.

For a longer list, see pro-EU campaigns

Pro Brexit analysis and campaigns

Brexit Central promotes Britain’s future as an “independent, free-trading, global-facing sovereign nation” and aims to be a “one-stop shop for news, analysis, comment and insight” about the negotiations. It produces a detailed daily email bulletin which lists and analyses press coverage and political events.

Economists for Free Trade (formerly named Economists for Brexit) believe the UK should leave the Single Market and Customs Union, to reduce protectionism and business regulation.

See list of pro Brexit campaigns for more.

Teaching resources about Brexit

The BBC’s ‘All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU’ is a guide to basic background information and  the negotiations, with links to a  beginners’ guide to how the EU works and other essential information for a basic course.

The Bar Council and the Citizenship Foundation have developed free resources to teach secondary school pupils about Brexit

The tes teaching resources site has materials about the referendum, EU and Brexit negotiations.

The Guardian has suggestions for How to teach… about the EU referendum and about the EU.

Tutor2u offers free resources on Brexit and the EU, including videos, lesson plans and discussion notes, produced for teaching economics but relevant to other subjects, including politics, geography and general studies (see also).

National Geographic Education Blog has a collection of discussion, questions, notes, videos and maps on What is Brexit? and What happens next?

There are also online courses on Futurelearn, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

The ‘Brexit with a Tree‘ lesson is an activity from the British Council to help learners use everything they’ve heard and felt about Brexit, to stimulate discussion, which needs to be supported with reliable information.

With learners over 14 or 15 it is best to involve them in following different sources of information online, then sharing and discussing it in class, to keep up with events. But you also need to provide a solid base of history and analysis to put events in context. Invite your MP to speak and answer questions. And so long as we are members of the EU, MEPs have a budget for people to visit the EU Parliament.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar