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Theresa May’s Brexit plan grilled by lawmakers in UK Parliament

London / The British prime minister faced a grilling from lawmakers in the UK’s lower house of Parliament Thursday, as she defended her draft Brexit deal with the European Union, a provisional text that has already seen two senior members of her cabinet resign.

Theresa May told lawmakers her deal was the best possible outcome for the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc but she met stiff criticism from the main opposition Labour Party, the Scottish National Party, the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland – which props up her minority executive – and backbench members from within her ruling Conservative Party.

“The choice is clear,” the embattled PM told the House of Commons. “We can choose to leave with no deal, we can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated,” she said.

She said the British people wanted negotiations to end so the government could return to other issues.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party was yet to make clear its voting intention on the draft, berated the proposed arrangement.

He claimed the Brexit transition period detailed by the roughly 500-page document agreed with Brussels was open-ended, that Northern Ireland would be granted a special status from the rest of the UK and that the country could be locked into a temporary customs union – a so-called backstop if a future deal is not drawn up by the end of the transition period – from which it could not unilaterally withdraw.

“The government is in chaos,” Corbyn said. “Their deal risks leaving the country in an indefinite halfway house without a real say,” he added.

He said the text breached the PM’s own red lines on Brexit, such as avoiding a customs border down the Irish Sea should Northern Ireland remain in customary alignment with the EU as a way to preserve the soft border between it and the Republic of Ireland.

“This government simply cannot put to Parliament this half-baked deal that both the Brexit secretary and his predecessor have rejected,” he added.

Dominic Raab, the former secretary of state of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, resigned Thursday just hours after the cabinet agreed to back May on her provisional Brexit deal. The secretary of state for work and pensions, Esther McVey, swiftly followed suit.

Responding to Corbyn, May said Labour would be incapable of delivering a solution to Brexit, but acknowledged that both the UK and the EU were not “entirely happy” with some of the stipulations on the Irish border.

The PM got scathing criticism from the DUP’s Nigel Dodd in what was a particularly noteworthy exchange of opinions in the chamber given the party’s role as a confidence and supply source for the Tories.

“I could take the prime minister through the list of promises and pledges made to this House and to us privately about the future of Northern Ireland and the future relationship with the EU,” he said. “But I fear it would be a waste of time since she clearly doesn’t listen.”

He also praised Raab and McVey for their resignations.

The DUP occupy a unique role in the chamber as the largest party in the Commons to represent the only UK territory that shares a land border with the EU.

The DUP, which campaigned in favor of Brexit, has expressed its opposition to a hard border with the Republic of Ireland and to a customs border down the Irish Sea that separates the UK territory geographically from Great Britain.

Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in the Commons, also lamented the possibility of Northern Ireland retaining access to the single market and customs union and asked why Scotland could not enjoy the same privileges.

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in favor of remaining in the EU.

Hardline members of May’s own party have voiced their intention to vote down the PM’s Brexit plan in Parliament.

The EU has called an extraordinary Brexit summit for Nov. 25.

The UK is set to leave the bloc on Mar. 29, 2019 with or without a deal. (November 15, EFE/Practica Español)

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Comprehension

Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.)

Congratulations - you have completed Lee la noticia y responde a las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions.). You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
En la noticia se dice que...  
A
varios de ministros de diferentes gobiernos de países de la UE dimitieron por no estar de acuerdo con lo que se ha negociado en Bruselas.
B
varios ministros  británicos presentaron su dimisión a causa del acuerdo preliminar del 'brexit' con Bruselas.
C
el acuerdo preliminar que Reino Unido negoció con Bruselas no ha causado por el momento ninguna dimisión en el Gobierno de May.
Question 2
En el texto se dice que...  
A
todavía May no ha negociado nada con Bruselas sobre la salida de Reino Unido.
B
el acuerdo que May alcanzó con Bruselas no es el definitivo.
C
el acuerdo alcanzado con Bruselas es el definitivo con el Reino Unido.
Question 3
Según May, tanto ella como Bruselas están muy satisfechos del acuerdo que han alcanzado.    
A
No se sabe.
B
No es verdad.
C
Es verdad.
Question 4
Según el texto, ¿cuál es el punto más controvertido de esas negociaciones?    
A
Decidir cuándo Reino Unido saldrá del bloque comunitario.
B
La forma de evitar una frontera entre Irlanda del Norte e Irlanda.
C
Las relaciones comerciales con todos los países de la UE.
Question 5
En el texto se dice que...    
A
ningún político británico considera que lo que se ha acordado sobre Irlanda del Norte puede poner en peligro la integridad de Reino Unido.
B
la propia primera ministra cree que la integridad de Reino Unido está en peligro por lo que se ha acordado sobre Irlanda del Norte.
C
algunos políticos británicos piensan que lo que se ha acordado sobre Irlanda del Norte podría poner en peligro la integridad de Reino Unido.
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Vocabulary

Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
La expresión "en cascada" significa...    
A
"en cadena".
B
"de forma aislada".
C
"repentinamente".
Question 2
Una 'polémica'....  
A
no causa debate entre la opinión pública. 
B
no provoca ningún tipo de discusión.
C
causa controversia.
Question 3
Se llama 'detractores' a las personas que...    
A
están en contra de un algo o alguien y lo desacreditan.
B
no están ni a favor ni en contra de alguien.
C
están a favor de alguien y lo apoyan incondicionalmente.
Question 4
Un sinónimo de 'recalcar' es...    
A
'reiterar'.
B
'eludir'
C
'retirar'.
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There are 4 questions to complete.

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