The Brexit debate


You are a young, ambitious politician who just got elected for the European Council. After years of hard work, you finally get to sit between all the important EU leaders, from French president Emmanuel Macron to Germany's Angela Merkel. Together with them, you get to make all the decisions. Obviously, you feel like... 

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On October 31st, you have an important conference. You sit between the other EU leaders, who are all whispering very excitedly. You do not understand what all the fuss is about. Right at that moment, an unspecified UK representative walks in. But of course! You are a very intelligent politician, but you are really bad at keeping track of your schedule. Today is the day of the Brexit negotiations and you are not prepared! All of a sudden, you are all...

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You quickly run to the bathroom with your laptop. You only have 100 minutes before the conference starts. Obviously, you do not want to seem incompetent in front of your colleagues, so you need to inform yourself on Brexit as quickly as possible. You found this WebQuest where you can gather information about the history of the United Kingdom and the European Union, the political situation of Britain and possible outcomes of the Brexit. All you need to do is scroll down and do the activities.  

Let's get started! 


In this webquest, you will learn about the history and mechanisms of the European Union, about the United Kingdom as an oddity in Europe and about Brexit. Scroll down and complete the questions in order to inform yourself on these matters. You should work in pairs. By doing the activities, you will be preparing for a debate that will be held in the European Parliament. The main issue of the debate will be whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union and under what conditions it should leave. Each pair will be assigned an EU country and will take a specific stance in the question. You will have to prepare your arguments thoroughly in order to convince the other leaders of your opinion.

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Part 1: The creation and construction of the European Union 

In order to understand the present situation between Britain and the EU, it is important that you are aware of their (shared) history. How did the European Union arise and what is its function? Watch the video below.

(Tip: turn on the subtitles by going to 'settings' and 'subtitles', then pick 'English (United Kingdom)').


Open a Google document in your browser. Name it: last name-first name-webquest and share it with your teacher. 

Write your answers to the questions below in the document. 

1) The information in the grid has been shaken up. Match the items (treaties, outcomes and years)  and put them in chronological order.

(Insert an empty table with four rows and three columns in your Google document to write down your answers. Copy and paste the grid below into the document as well, so you do not need to switch tabs the whole time). 

The Schengen Agreement The European Coal and Steel Community 


The Schuman Declaration The European Union 


The Maastricht Treaty  Removal of border controls


The Treaty of Rome The European Economic Community



2) Answer these questions about the formation of the European Union. 

a. Which important historical event triggered the reunification of Europe?

b. Who called for the creation of a United States of Europe? 

c. What was the main motivation to raise the European Coal and Steel community?

d. What is the most important effect of the creation of the common market?

e. What problem arose in 2008?

f. In what way does the video criticize the way the EU has been managing that problem? 

g. In what way can this turn of events be linked to Brexit? 


3) In the video, special attention is paid to the UK. 

a. When did the UK try to enter the EU?

(Tip: We are not looking for a year, but for a certain moment in the process of the creation of the European Union). 

b. Was the UK immediately allowed to enter?

c. What is ironic about that?


a. The four freedoms (free movement of goods, capital, services and people) are an essential part of the European Union. But what do these freedoms encompass exactly? 

Consult the Fact Sheets website of the European Parliament to find an explanation:

Explain in your own words the freedom of... 

- Goods

- Capital 

- Services

- People 

(!) Note: You do not need to give exhaustive explanations for these freedoms! It suffices if you can explain in just one or two sentences what each of these freedoms stand for and if you can give one example for each freedom. 


b. Which one of these four freedoms do you deem the most important one? Share your opinion in minimum 5 sentences via this link:


When you have finished this part of the exercise, raise your hand. The teacher will share the key to the exercises with you.


Part 2: The United Kingdom, an oddity in Europe

1) Look at the cartoon. Discuss with your partner:

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- Which British stereotypes do you recognize?

- Which other stereotypes can you see on the picture? 

- What does this cartoon tell you about Britain's relationship with France? 


2) The United Kingdom has always been a bit of an oddity in Europe. They just seem to do things differently on several levels. Look at the questions below. Pick one question you want to answer and browse the internet. Start a new page in your Google document and and write down your answer. Do not forget to mention the sources you have used! 

- Why do the British drive on the left side of the road? 

- Why do the British use pounds? 

- Why do the British use 'miles' instead of 'kilometres'? 

- Why do the British use different plugs? 

- Why do the British love the Queen so much? 

- Why do the British love tea so much? 

- Why do the British call themselves 'British' and not 'English'? 


When you have found the answer to the question you chose, see if any of your classmates have finished as well. Go to that group and talk to them. In case multiple groups have finished the exercise, you can split up  and each talk to a different group. 

>> If your classmate has answered the same question, you can discuss and compare your answers. 

>> If your classmate has answered a different question, tell him/her which question you chose and discuss your findings. 


Part 3: Looking for the (Br)exit

In this section, you will take a closer look at the problems, solutions and challenges underlying Brexit.

1) Before you do so, watch the short video about the structure of the British Parliament. It will help you solve the exercises further on. 

After watching, try to explain to your partner what the main structure of the British Parliament is. Can you reproduce what was just said?


2) Your teacher has selected two texts on Brexit. You will both read one text and study different aspects of Brexit. By answering the accompanying questions, you will both become Brexperts in a different domain! 

Within your pairs, decide who will read text one and who will read text two. You find the links to the texts as well as the questions in the following Google documents. 

Note: Each document is divided in part A, part B and part C. You have to finish part A and part C individually. You can work on part B together. 

Text one:

Text two:




The Brexit debate

Preparation -   /4

The pupil has thoroughly prepared arguments and counterarguments. The pupil has looked up extra information to back up his/her arguments in case he/she deemed that this was necessary. 

Feedback -   /4

The pupil has showed his/her preparation to the teacher and has asked for feedback. The pupil has taken the feedback of the teacher into account. 

Speaking time -   /4

There was balance in the speaking time. Everyone got a chance to talk. 

Attitude -   /8

-- Assertiveness: The pupil dared to speak. The pupil did not sit in silence the whole time.  

-- Eye contact: The pupil makes eye contact when he/she is talking to someone. 

-- Body language: The body language of the pupil is open and engaged. It is not nervous, closed, bored or aggressive. 

-- Respect: The pupil respects the opinions of others, even when he/she does not agree. The pupil can communicate this in a considerate way. The pupil does not belittle others when they make a (language) mistake. The pupil does not show aggression of any kind towards others. 

Vocabulary -   /4

The pupil uses vocabulary that he/she has learned in the webquest. The pupil uses appropriate vocabulary to talk about politics. The pupil does an effort to express him/herself correctly and tries to not verbally hurt anyone's feelings. 

Language -   /16

-- Mistakes: 

0 mistakes - 8/8

1 - 4 mistakes - 6/8

4 - 8 mistakes - 4/8

8 or more mistakes - 2/8

-- Volume: 

The pupil speaks loud and clear - 2/2

The pupil speaks too loudly or mumbles - 0/2

-- Intonation: 

Good intonation - 2/2

Intonation is overdone or monotonous - 0/2

-- Pace: 

Good pace - 2/2

Too slow or too fast - 0/2

-- Pronunciation: 

Pupil watches his/her pronunciation - 2/2

Pupil completely disregards his/her pronunciation - 0/2

Final score:     / 40 -->      /20


Yes!!! You did it! You processed all the information in time and you did not make a fool of yourself in front of the entire European Parliament! You proved to your colleagues that you are a fully competent politician who is ready to govern the European Union (although you have promised yourself that you will keep better track of your schedule in the future). 

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See teacher page. 

Teacher Page


Hello! I am Annelore Peeters. I am pursuing my teacher's degree from Ghent University.

I designed this WebQuest for my course 'Vakdidactische Uitdieping Engels'.  

Lesson specifics

Target audience: sixth form, general education 

Timing: two lessons (100 minutes), excl. evaluation

Targeted skills

This WebQuests targets both receptive skills (reading, watching/listening) and productive skills (writing, speaking). 

It also targets culture and vocabulary. 

Lesson Objectives

-        Pupils can make pairs and get started on a webquest.

-        Pupils can estimate what is expected of them.    

-        Pupils can select specific information when listening.

-        Pupils can look up and select essential information about the EU and use this to formulate an explanation

-        Pupils can express their opinion about the EU in a short written text.

-        Pupils can discuss and reflect about British stereotypes.

-        Pupils can research a question about British culture and use the information they find to answer that question in their own words.

-        Pupils can discuss the information they found with their peers.

-        Pupils can memorize the broad structure of the British Parliament.  

-        Pupils can unravel and write down the main idea of a text in their own words.

-        Pupils can briefly answer questions asked by the author of the text.

-        Pupils can deduct meaning of words from context and compare their explanation with that from an online English dictionary. 

-        Ps can answer questions that require a deeper understanding and close reading of the text.

-        Ps can adopt a critical attitude towards the media and express their opinion about media articles.

-        Ps can come up with arguments and counterarguments for a debate.

-        Ps can defend their point of view thoroughly and considerately during a debate.