5-speed listening (United Kingdom - Level 3)

United Kingdom could break up, warns ex-leader



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A former prime minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown, has warned that the union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is "sleepwalking into oblivion". He also warned of a serious economic disaster ahead after the UK leaves the European Union. He wrote about the dangers of the UK leaving the EU after Brexit. The UK will leave the European Union on October 31st (which is also Halloween). Mr Brown believes that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the four nations of the UK could be in trouble. He is blaming nationalist thinking. He said many people in each country want their independence. He said the United Kingdom is no longer a totally united kingdom.

The United Kingdom consists of four countries - the three nations of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the fourth being Northern Ireland. The full title for all four countries is "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Gordon Brown believes that Brexit has made people in each country want independence. Most people in Scotland voted against Brexit. They want to stay in the EU. There are talks of a vote for independence for Scotland. There are also worries over a possible physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. People are talking about a possible reunited Ireland. Mr Brown said: "We must recognize that nationalism is now driving British politics."

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