European Union – in or out? The language of the UK’s referendum

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Liz Walter

Credit: Getty Dem10/iStock/Getty Images Plus

On June 23rd, Britain will decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union (EU). I’m more than happy to bore friends with my own views on the subject, but the purpose of this post is simply to highlight the language of the debate.

The precise question we will be answering is: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’, and the answer will be decided in a referendum (a national election in which each person has one vote). All citizens of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth (countries that belonged to the British empire in the past and still have a close relationship with the UK) currently living in the UK can vote. In addition, UK nationals living abroad can vote if they have been on the electoral register (official list of…

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