Why don’t MPs say these words any more?

House of Commons Image copyright Mark Duffy/UK Parliament

We cannot be sure what MPs and peers will talk about in 2019, but one word is likely to crop up a lot.

Brexit was mentioned 7,495 times in Parliament last year.

However it was only in December 2012 that it made its first appearance, courtesy of Liberal Democrat peer Lord Maclennan.

And the following year the word wasn’t mentioned at all.

Here are some other words that have risen and fallen in political popularity.

Although the UK has been a member of the European Union for decades, the bloc is discussed far more often now that the UK is departing.

There was a bit of a spike in 2011 when the European Union Act was passed, creating a legal requirement to hold a referendum if any proposals were made to transfer further powers from the UK to the EU.

In the end, a referendum took place simply because the then-Prime Minister David Cameron promised one.

And when the UK voted to leave, mentions of the EU shot up.

Leaving the EU has big consequences for many aspects of policy – especially the UK’s trading relationships.

The EU’s customs union means there are no internal tariffs, or import taxes, on goods that are transported between them.

The UK government wants to leave this body in order to have the freedom to negotiate its own trade deals with other countries.

Politicians barely ever mentioned the customs union before the Brexit vote, but, as you can see, that changed dramatically.

Aside from Brexit, one area in which there has been a huge shift in the past decade is technology.

“No sector of society is immune from the explosion in the use of social media communication tools,” said Labour’s now deputy leader Tom Watson back in 2008, marking the first mention of “social media” in the House of Commons.

He was right, and use of the term has increased every year since, with 825 mentions in 2018 alone.

The surge in mentions for “artificial intelligence” has been even more recent.

It was barely mentioned before 2016, when politicians said it a few dozen times.

But it rose dramatically the following year when the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee was established.

So, politicians are talking more about Brexit and technology – but what have they stopped talking about as much?

The economy is a big one. During the financial crisis and the following years of recovery, it dominated the political conversation.

The UK economy was in recession for five quarters in 2008 and 2009, but speculation of a later “double dip”

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