EU referendum

EU referendum

Use this resource about referendums to generate discussion around the topic and explore how referendums have previously been used in the UK.

pdf file - 394 KB


This resource is ideal for use with students when discussing the EU referendum, and also looks at how referendums have previously been used.

Explore the discussion starter questions listed below with your students and use the downloadable discussion cards as prompts to suggest arguments for and against referendums. Teachers' notes are included.

Discussion starter questions:

  • Why is the EU referendum important?
  • What is the impact of EU membership on the UK?
  • What is the impact of leaving the EU?
  • If the UK votes to leave, how would they action this?
  • Are there any alternatives to EU membership?

More about the EU referendum

The UK’s EU referendum 2016 explained presents an impartial view of the different arguments and opinions.

The EU referendum debates page lists House of Commons debates relating to the EU referendum.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • Explore the EU referendum and the impact the possible outcomes may have
  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of referendums in a democracy
  • Consider issues such as the influence of the media, public participation in politics, bias in referendum questions, the cost of government, and other arguments for and against referendums 
  • Understand key terms such as legitimacy, sovereignty, and direct democracy 
  • Consider a range of viewpoints on a complex issue and present their own point of view 
  • Improve their verbal communication skills and contribute to group discussions

Practical information

The discussion cards can be printed and cut up to hand out to your students.

The accompanying teachers' notes suggest a range of different activities using the cards.


pdf file - 394 KB

Referendums discussion activity - Word version

Referendums discussion activity - Word version

docx file - 835 KB

Related teaching resources