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The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the party that has a majority in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister is the most senior officer of Her Majesty’s Government. The full title of the office is the Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Minister for the Civil Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister’s main responsibilities include: running the Government; appointing Cabinet Ministers and other ministers; coordinating the activities of the Cabinet and Government Departments; appointing judges, creating Life Peers and making appointments to senior positions in the Church of England; leading the majority party; being the «face» of the government in the UK and abroad.
The Prime Minister is technically appointed by the Monarch. The appointment takes place after the results of a General Election indicate which political party wins the majority of seats in the House of Commons. After a General Election, the Queen calls upon the leader of the largest party to officially appoint him to a post of a Prime Minister, who then forms the Government and the Cabinet.
The Cabinet is composed of about 20 ministers, although the number can vary. The functions of the Cabinet are to initiate and decide on policy, to exercise the supreme control of government and to coordinate Government Departments.
The Cabinet meets for a few hours each week on a Thursday morning at No. 10 Downing Street which is very near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. The Prime Minister can summon the Cabinet to meet at any time and meetings will be more frequent when the political situation so requires. It is the Prime Minister’s duty to meet the Queen during the weekly audiences and inform her about the business of Government.
3. Find in the text above the Russian equivalents for the following words and expressions:
- to have a majority in the House of Commons
- the most senior officer
- First Lord of the Treasury
- to coordinate the activities of the Cabinet
- being the «face» of the government
- to officially appoint
- to initiate and decide on policy
- to exercise the supreme control of government
- for a few hours a week
4. Find in the text above the English equivalents for the following key words and expressions:
- всеобщие выборы
- формировать правительство
- возглавлять партию большинства
- самый старший по должности чиновник
- руководить деятельностью правительства
- назначать на пост Премьер министра
- член (представитель) парламента
- исполнять обязанности руководителя страны
- созывать Кабинет
- обязанности Премьер министра
5.Open the brackets using the verbs in a proper form, review the Present Simple Tense:
1. The Prime Minister (to hold) Cabinet meetings at his or her house at number 10 Downing Street.
2. The Prime Minister usually (to take) policy decisions with the agreement of his Cabinet.
3. The Prime Minister (to be) usually the leader of the party that has a majority in the House of Commons.
4. The Prime Minister (to be) the most senior officer of Her Majesty’s Government.
5. After a General Election, the Queen (to appoint) the leader of the largest party to a post of a Prime Minister.
6. The Cabinet (to meet) for a few hours each week.
6. Read and translate the text without dictionary:
In theory, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is a primus inter pares (first among equals) in the British Cabinet. In appointing a Cabinet the Prime Minister generally includes members of parliament who have political bases of their own and who could potentially be rival of the Prime Minister. However, in practice, a strong Prime Minister can so dominate government that he becomes a «semi-president», and fulfils the leadership role in a country in the same way as presidents do. Examples include David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.
7. Read, translate and reproduce the following dialogue:
Two students speak about governmental structure of the UK
A: As far as I know, Great Britain is a monarchy, isn’t it?
B: Yes, but Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. The Queen is not absolute.
A: By whom are the Queen’s powers limited?
B: They are limited by Parliament.
A: Parliament in Britain has a two-chamber structure, hasn’t it?
B: Yes, Parliament consists of two Houses: the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
A: How often is Parliament elected?
B: The House of Commons is elected every 5 years. The membership in the House of Lords is hereditary.
A: Well, the legislature consists of the Queen and Parliament. And what about the executive power?
B: The highest executive body is the Cabinet of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister.
A: Is the Prime Minister appointed?
B: The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the party which has a majority in the House of Commons.
A: And where is the residence of the Prime Minister located?
B: The residence of the Prime Minister is at number 10 Downing Street.
A: And who does the supreme judicial power belong to?
B: The highest judicial body in the English judicial system is the House of Lords.
A: I highly appreciate your detailed replies.
B: You are welcome.
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