Britain is studying how its roads and shipping could be affected if the country leaves the European Union (EU) without an agreement between the two sides.

The study, which began Monday, is meant to show possible traffic problems if the country leaves the EU on March 29. That is when a new British law is set to go into effect. It would require Britain to cancel its EU membership, even if the government is not finished negotiating an exit agreement.

Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to win parliamentary approval of an EU exit agreement to avoid the automatic exit. But British lawmakers are expected to reject the deal. A vote on the measure is set for next week.

Almost 100 trucks took part in the first day of testing. The trucks traveled about 30 kilometers from a closed airport to the port of Dover, in southeastern England.

May’s government has repeatedly warned that an automatic exit from the EU, without an agreement, would cause severe economic problems. It is widely believed that a “no-deal” exit would lead to new taxes and customs barriers in Britain. This would likely slow Britain’s transportation links to the rest of Europe.

Transportation experts have predicted major traffic problems leading into and out of ports like Dover. Such problems could also lead to shortages of food and medicine.

Charlie Elphicke is a Conservative Party lawmaker from Dover. 

“Less than a hundred lorries is a drop in the ocean compared to the more than 10,000 that go to the channel ports every day,” he said.

Supporters of Britain’s exit from the EU have admitted the split would lead to some economic disruption in the beginning. But they believe that such effects would only be short term. In the long run, they expect Britain to gain new economic and political strength outside of the EU.

Groups opposed to Britain’s withdrawal say it will isolate the country too much from Europe and will hurt the economy.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.


automatic (adj.) - working by itself or with little human control


lorry (n.) - large road vehicle for transporting goods


disruption (n.) - interference into or stopping something


isolate (v.) - separate someone or something from other people or things




Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.


  1. What is Brittain studying?
  2. Why is that needed?
  3. What kinds of brexit there are?
  4. How many lorries have been used?


Exercise 3

Make a sentence.

Make sentences using these words


automatic, lorry, isolate, disruption




Exercise 4


Have a discussion on following questions.


  1. Do you think it is good for Brittain to leave EU?
  2. Would Brittain be better off alone or in the EU?
  3. How these tests help their assesement?
  4. Will Theresa May get support?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.