Episode 1 (00:00-05:22)

Before you watch

1. Study the following words and phrases

A failing cause/ a lost cause —  something that has failed or that cannot succeed

Fiscal – connected with government or public money, especially taxes

To splash out – to spend a lot of money on something

2. Study the information on the following

Civil servants are usually — but not always — in practice employed by ‘Ministers of the Crown’ — so most civil servants work in government departments and are therefore employed by Government Ministers. Parliament is quite separate from the Crown so those who are employed by Parliament are also not civil servants.

Read more on civil service in the UK at https://www.civilservant.org.uk/information-definitions.html

While you watch

Say whether the statements are true or false

1. Sir Simon holds a meeting for the top ambassadors from all over the world annually.

2. The Labour party are unwilling to accept Brexit

3. The Chinese media discuss the possibility of the second referendum on Brexit in the UK.                            

4.Pakistan is dissatisfied with Theresa May as Prime Minister of the UK. 

5. Brazil is rather pessimistic as for the economic outcomes of Brexit.

6. The government foresee difficult times ahead and have to budget carefully

After you watch

  • Sir Simon invites the ambassadors to different countries to find out local attitudes towards the situation in the UK. How important is this practice in international relations? Having heard the representatives of China, Pakistan and Brazil, how do you think Britain should adjust its policy in these countries?
  • In the hindsight, did Britain manage to cope with Brexit or are there more profound problems in store for it?
  • * In the film you catch sight of Palmerston the cat, the Foreign Office Chief Mouser. He started his career in 2016 and resigned in August 2020. Read his resignation letter, paying attention to its style and vocabulary choice. You can learn more about Palmerston at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t88DRC_ENBE
  • What do you think is the reason for keeping Palmerston, apart from his obvious task of catching mice?