THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NOTHERN IRELAND
1. Read the text.
THE BRITISH POLITICAL SYSTEM
The United Kingdom is a monarchy. The queen is the head of the state, but she doesn’t have much power. The monarchy is hereditary. Parliament consists of three elements – the Monarch, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. They meet together only on occasions of ceremonial significance. The members of the House of Lords are called peers. There are no elections for the House of Lords. Some peers are hereditary. Others are life peers; they are people who have served the nation in a special way. The Queen chooses life peers in consultation with the Prime Minister. There are 650 members of the House of Commons, they are chosen by election. They are elected for a maximum of five years. After an election, the political party with the largest number of members of the House of Commons forms the government. The leader of this party becomes the Prime Minister and he or she chooses the ministers who will together form the Government. The party which won the second most votes forms the official opposition. Both sit on the two sides of the Hall. One side is for the governing party, the other is for opposition. The session is opened by the Queen. But she reads her speech in the House of Lords and not in the House of Commons. Each session lasts for 160-175 days. All the members are paid for their work and have to attend the sittings. When Parliament is not sitting they visit their constituencies. Law, which is proposed by the Parliament, is called “a Bill”. When the members vote they leave the House through two doors. On one door is written “Yes”, on the other – “No”. When they are leaving the Hall they are counted by four tellers.
Vocabulary hereditary спадкоємний the House of Lords Палата Лордів the House of Commons Палата Громад ceremonial significance офіційна церемонія a peer пер (титулований дворянин) in consultation за узгодженням to vote голосувати official opposition офіційна опозиція governing party правляча партія to attend the sittings відвідувати засідання a constituency виборець to propose вносити пропозицію a teller лічильник голосів
2 Match the words from columns A and B, adding prepositions if necessary. A B peers Commons members parties House state head sitting ceremonial opposition official Parliament political hereditary attend significance
3. Complete the following statements. 1. They are elected for … 2. Prime Minister and ministers together… 3. The Queen is the head of … 4. Parliament consists of three elements … 5. One side is for the governing party, the other … 6. When the members vote they … 7. Life peers are people who … 8. When Parliament is not sitting they …
4. Answer the following questions. 1. Who is the head of the state? 2. Can you name three elements of Parliament? 3. What is a peer? Who can be a peer? 4. How is the government formed? 5. Who becomes the Prime Minister? 6. Who opens the session? 7. What is “a Bill”? 8. In what way are Bills voted?
5. Read the text and insert the words missing. Use the words from the box. symbol head Crown monarchy active ignore hereditary advice throne
The United Kingdom is a ... The present Sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II. Born in 1926, succeeded to the … in 1952. The monarchy is …, descending to the Sons of the Sovereign in order of seniority or to the daughters. Although the Queen’s … role in politics is minimal, she performs the functions of … of the state and serves as a personal … of national unity. The Queen is the head of the executive, the head of the Judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all Armed Forces of the … She summons and dissolves Parliament, she must give Royal Assent to the Law. But she acts not on her own but on the … of the Government, which she cannot …
6. Read about the executive power in Great Britain and agree or disagree on the statements, given below. The Government is formed by the leader of the majority in the House of Commons. Cabinet of ministers consists mostly of heads of chief government departments. It also includes some ministers with few or no departmental responsibilities handed by the Prime Minister. The whole body of the Ministers is about 20 persons. As the principal executive body under the UK constitution, its function is to formulate government policy and to carry it into effect. The Cabinet has no statutory foundation and exists entirely by convention. 1) All the Ministries in GB are called departments. 2) The Cabinet is formed by the Lord Chancellor. 3) The functions of the Cabinet is to formulate government policy.
7. Read about the functions of two ministries. The Lord Chancellor’s Department The Department is responsible for the administration of the Supreme Court, county courts and a number of tribunals. It also observes the locally administered Magistrate’s courts. It controls all work relating to judicial appointments. The Department has the overall responsibility for civil and criminal legal aid, and for the promotion of general reforms in the Civil Law. Home Office The ministry is responsible for administration of justice, treatment of offenders, including probation and the prison service, the police. It also deals with the crime prevention and fire service. Regulation of firearms and dangerous drugs is also in its authority. The ministry deals with passports, immigration and race relations as well. 8. Now correct the lists of functions and responsibilities of these two ministries. a. The Lord Chancellor’s Department: a) promotion of general reforms in the civil law; b) administration of tribunals; c) probation; d) judicial appointments; e) magistrates’ courts. b. Home Office: a) fire service; b) passports; c) regulation of the prison service; d) administration of the Supreme Court; e) treatment of offenders. 9. Translate the following into English. 1. Королева є головою держави, але вона не має значної влади. 2. Членів Палати Лордів називають перами. 3. Членів Палати Громад обирають у порядку голосування терміном на п'ять років. 4. Після виборів партія, що зайняла більшу кількість місць у Палаті Громад, формує уряд. 5. Лідер цієї партії стає прем'єр-міністром країни. 6. При голосуванні члени Палати залишають зал засідань через одні з дверей. На одних з них написано «Так», а на інших – «Ні».