The dystopian nightmare of a European superstate
British fiction and the EU
in The road to Brexit
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This chapter discusses The Aachen Memorandum (AM) (1995) by historian Andrew Roberts as a paradigmatic example of one important branch of Eurosceptic novels. It analyses the novel as a dystopian narrative that depicts the European Union as a dys-EUtopia, set in a future where Britain has become an undesirable and unpleasant place that shares salient features with the dystopian societies of Nineteen Eighty-Four or Brave New World. The chapter argues that Robert’s influential novel takes an extremely Eurosceptic perspective, extrapolating the EU’s integration efforts and policies into a totalitarian means of control through constant surveillance, propaganda or the re-writing of history. The chapter illustrates how the Eurosceptic novel actively promotes national identity and sovereignty, drawing upon a storehouse of Eurosceptic tropes and repeating a certain nationalist version of British history that sets Britain against a EUropean Other. Expressing and disseminating widespread Eurosceptic fears, Roberts’s novel thus anticipates Brexit.

The road to Brexit

A cultural perspective on British attitudes to Europe

Editor: Ina Habermann

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