A course about Brexit, the UK’s plan to leave the European Union, is to be offered as an option by the University of Botswana’s history department.
The course, called Modern Britain, will “study the crisis” as it happens, a notice shared on Twitter said.
Students will, however, not sit for an exam.
Bruce Bennett from the university confirmed to the BBC that the course will be offered.
“[It] is intended to link the present crisis, which is of interest to many people, to the historical background,” he said.
He said that as an elective course students from other departments would be able to take it.
“There has been interest from students from across the university, including of course political science but not limited to them.”
He added that other major events in British history would also be covered.
“This semester the British history course will focus on the Brexit crisis, as it happens, in combination with relevant British history. This historical background includes both relatively recent events such as the Northern Irish Troubles and the Good Friday agreement, and the deeper background.”
Brexit comes from merging the words Britain and exit. It is a word that is used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU.
Why is Britain leaving the European Union?
A referendum – a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part – was held on Thursday June 23, 2016, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent. The referendum turnout was 71.8 percent, with more than 30 million people voting.
What is the European Union?
The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together were more likely to avoid going to war with each other.
It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.
When is the UK due to leave the EU?
The UK had been due to leave on March 29, 2019, two years after it started the exit process by invoking Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. But the withdrawal agreement reached between the EU and UK has been rejected three times by UK MPs.
Having granted an initial extension of the Article 50 process until April 12, 2019, EU leaders have now backed a six-month extension until October 31, 2019. However, the UK will leave before this date if the withdrawal agreement is ratified by the UK and the EU before then.
So is Brexit definitely happening?
As things stand, the UK is due to leave the European Union at 23:00 GMT on October 31, 2019. If the UK and EU ratify the withdrawal agreement before then, the UK will leave on the first day of the following month.