Ben Wellings
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England’s shared exceptionalism
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This chapter develops the idea of the importance of English constitutional history as a link between English nationalism, Euroscepticism and the Anglosphere. It argues that England’s constitutional development is the fulcrum that links English nationalism, Euroscepticism and the Anglosphere and serves as a point of commonality for all three ideologies. The process of disengaging from the European Union was bound up with debates about England’s constitutional development, ties to the Anglosphere and England’s uncertain constitutional position within a changing United Kingdom. To illustrate this argument this chapter looks at the debate surrounding the re-publication of Our Island Story in 2005 and the subsequent political support for its constitutional narrative as a means of cohering Britain and Britishness. By simultaneously suggesting an alternative (global) future for the United Kingdom, Eurosceptic Anglospherists in England articulated arguments about Britain’s place in Europe in English national frames that in turn linked Britain with the Anglosphere.

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