Brexit, Boris, Bananas

Amidst the Christmas decorations, Christmas shopping, and getting ready to greet the Christmas holidays, British people are being forced to think about something else…

Brexit. Again. When will it leave us alone?

You might have heard of this word, 'Brexit'. It's been around for nearly the last 4 years, and it still isn't showing any signs of leaving. But now, this coming week, on Thursday 12th December, the British people have a chance to change the future of their great isle… because it's time for a general election.

Now, many of you may not have even heard of 'Brexit', or Boris Johnson (that's our current prime minister fyi - yes, the one that looks like Trump's twin brother. But if you do know something about the situation, you might think that both Britain and British politics have just gone bananas (slang for 'mad'/'crazy'). And if that's what you're thinking, then you would be right.
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So whether you know a little, or whether you know a lot, here's an all-you-need-to-know guide to the December election, and what on earth 'Brexit' actually is…

  1. Brexit Basics
'Brexit' is a word made of two other words: 'Britain' + 'Exit'. It's the term given to the process of the United Kingdom (UK) trying to leave the European Union (EU).

It started in June 2016 after a referendum, that David Cameron (ex-prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party) asked the people to vote in, resulted in 51.9% of people wanting to leave the EU and 48.1% of people voting to remain in the EU.

The government have to make a deal with the EU about the terms and conditions of leaving. The EU has agreed to many deals already, put forward by different prime ministers, but the UK parliament MPs (Members of Parliament — representatives of all the different political parties) keep rejecting the deals and fighting amongst themselves. This is probably because 50% are pro Brexit, and 50% are against. The EU keeps extending the deadline (the time Britain has to leave the EU by) and Britain keep missing that deadline. The latest deadline is 31st January 2020.
2. Brilliant or Bad?

Brexit is something that divides opinion in Britain. It divides the people 51.9% to 48.2%. It even divides families. Of course, many people didn't vote in the 2016 referendum, and many people who voted to leave, now say that they were misinformed.

We were told that the EU was bad for the economy. But let's consider what has happened since 2016. The pound (£) is depreciating. Our currency is getting weaker. It has been falling since the government announced that we are going to leave the EU. Many trading companies have already lost business and clients. This is because many clients don't want to make trade deals with British companies at the moment, when they don't know what the situation will be like after Brexit, so they take their business to other countries. Furthermore, the price of food will be much more expensive in the supermarkets. We have cheap produce at the moment, and that is thanks to the EU. Oh, and no queues at the airports for us… but soon we'll be needing visas for stays over 90 days and we'll be joining the Chinese, Indians and those Russians in the looooong 'all passports' queues.

Of course, give it 5 years, and leaving the EU may be better for our economy. We will also have more control of our borders and how we spend our money in the country. But that will depend on the political party in charge. There may be benefits in the future, but it's the uncertainty that is the problem.
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3. Boris Johnson

Believe it or not, this man is the British prime minister. He was a funny mayor of London, because no-one took him seriously. He brought some humour to politics. But now that he is the prime minister, it's not so funny any more. It's actually embarrassing. He certainly is an interesting character, but do we want a political leader that doesn't show up to interviews, doesn't turn up to TV debates on climate change, says whatever comes into his head, and spends his time making videos like this…?
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His best skill is making big promises and failing to deliver on them. He loves exaggerating, and the majority of what he says, cannot be trusted. For example, he told us that the EU does not allow us to sell bananas in bunches of more than 3 bananas. This is categorically untrue, and has been denied by the EU. Just take a look in a British supermarket and you'll see for yourself. Really, Boris Johnson has gone bananas.
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4. British Political Parties

In the election on Thursday, we have various parties that we can elect into government. These are the main ones:

Conservative (right-wing, current party, leader: Boris Johnson)

Labour (left-wing, socialist, leader: Jeremy Corbyn)

Liberal Democrats (middle-ground, leader: Jo Swinson)

Green Party (environment party, leaders: Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry)

Brexit Party (far-right, formerly known as UKIP — The UK Independence Party, leader: Nigel Farage)

Each city or region votes for a party, and that party gets a seat in parliament. There are 650 seats in parliament. One party needs to win 326 seats to have a 'majority' and form a government. Currently, the polls are even.
5. Bananas

You may have guessed by now that I voted to remain in the EU, and was anti-Brexit in the 2016 referendum. In light of recent terrorist attacks, I agree with what France said in 2016, that we should stay together, our countries should not be divided at a time like this. Terrorists want division. We are stronger together, better together. More able to fight terrorism together.

I don't really want Brexit to happen, but I am now one of many people who are just tired and fed up of the whole ordeal. It is becoming embarrassing to be British at the moment. BUT, I am not complaining. I am glad that in the UK we have the freedom to protest and complain about our government, and that we are not living in fear of our lives for doing so.

I only hope that it will be over one way or another ASAP so that we can go back to putting our focus on hospitals, education, prisons, childcare, social services, the homeless. There are many other situations and worthy causes that we should be paying attention to, rather than wasting our country's time, money, and resources fighting with each other over a load of bananas.

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Author of this article: Issy, teacher at Campus
7 декабря / 2019