NI Schools get ready for EU debate as UK prepares for exit

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AS the UK gets ready to leave the EU tomorrow, schools from across Northern Ireland are preparing to take on a very different role.

The schools, including Our Lady and St Patrick’s College (OLSPC) in east Belfast, will take part in the British Council’s Mock Council of the European Union debate at Belfast City Hall on Tuesday, February 11.

The event, now in its 15th year, will see OLSPC sixth form pupils – Aleena Joseph, Molly McCory, Francesca Wilson and Aoibh Coogan – represent the European Commission, putting forward two motions on important issues facing Europe; Climate Change and Social Media regulation.

Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Pupils (from left) Aleena Joseph, Molly McCory and Francesca Wilson, pictured with teacher Ms Olga Mezza, are preparing to take part in the British Council’s Mock Council of the European Union debate. The event comes as the UK prepares to leave the EU tomorrow (Friday, January 31) and will see them take on the role of the European Commission – putting forward two motions on important issues facing Europe; Climate Change and Social Media regulation. They will be joined by 28 other schools from across Northern Ireland at the debate on Tuesday, 11 February at Belfast City Hall. For more information visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org, on Twitter: BCouncil_NI or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/britishcouncilnorthernireland

They will be joined by 28 other schools from across Northern Ireland, who will act as the current EU member states – including, the United Kingdom.

Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, believes that the annual debate is as relevant as ever.

He said: “As the UK prepares to leave the EU, this year’s event is as relevant today as it was 15 years ago. It puts students at the heart of the negotiating table in the EU’s main decision making body. The event provides an ideal forum to allow students to engage in political debates and negotiations where reaching consensus is the order of the day. The topics under discussion such as social media and the climate crisis are important not just for the EU but globally.

“Students will get an opportunity to find out about the workings of the EU through participating in the event and the complexities of decision making in the EU and role of member states.

I look forward to seeing our students take on their Ministerial roles at this year’s timely event.”

The Mock Council of the European Union will take place at Belfast City Hall on Tuesday, February 11. For more information visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org, on Twitter: BCouncil_NI or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/britishcouncilnorthernireland

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