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Politics: The United Kingdom
Some years ago, the BBC sent a letter advising its employees to refrain from using the word ´nation´ while referring to the UK. The United Kingdom, England Britain and the British Isles are often confused or wrongly used, even among English people.
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constituencies – issues – PM – upheld – carried out – subjects – Constitutional Monarchy – Acts – MPs – overrule – House of Commons – role – constitution – lies – theoretically – contravenes
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The United Kingdom is a 1. – the Queen is head of state and the Prime Minister (2. ) is head of government. There are two chambers- the lower 3. and the upper House of Lords. The first is where the true power lies. The latter is the only non-elected second chamber of all the democracies in the world (In its favour, the lords receive no salary). This Parliament represents the whole of the United Kingdom. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish also have their own assemblies. The English do not. The Members of Parliament (4. ) are voted in their specific areas, called 5. , in a “first past the post” system.
The UK constitution.
There is no written 6. . Parliament is the source of law, and the constitution is changed simply by passing new 7. of Parliament. Thus no judge or court of law can 8. these Acts or declare them unconstitutional. To use an example of Parliament´s 9. limitless powers, there were no elections for ten years, between 1935 and 1945 (due to the Second World War).
This system is not entirely compatible with EU law. Recently, the two men that killed a British soldier in London were sentenced to a “whole life term” for one and 45 years for the other. The court of appeal had 10. that these sentences are legal due to an Act of Parliament, even though it 11. European law.
The figure of the monarch is also particular to the UK. The very sovereignty of the country 12. in the “Monarch in Parliament”, and the British themselves are legally not citizens, but 13. . Officially, the Queen dismisses and appoints MPs (including the Prime Minister); 14. passports; grants Royal Assent to new laws, thereby making them valid; declares war and recognizes states, as well as being the head of the Church of England- and you think you have a busy job!
In practice, these matters are 15. in her name- all letters sent by a government department are marked “on Her Majesty´s Service”. It does mean, however, that the 16. of the monarchy is so important as to make its abolition a legal nightmare. As only an estimated 15-20% of the British declare themselves republicans, it is something the experts will not have to worry about for a while.
Press ‘Start’ and choose one of the words below for each question- Write the letter, not the word!
A. carried out B. theoretically C. constitution D. Constitutional Monarchy E. Acts F. lies G. House of Commons H. subjects I. constituencies J. overrule K. role L. contravenes M. MPs N. PM O. issues P. upheld