Ben Wellings
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The Anglosphere, England and the Brexit referendum
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This chapter analyses the place of the Anglosphere in the Brexit referendum campaign and the ways that this English understanding of the Anglosphere was inter-related with English national narratives. It will argue that the idea of the Anglosphere gave Brexiteers an alternative vision of an international community to the EU. The Anglosphere’s core states provided Brexiteers with economic and political models to emulate (and in their view exceed) those of the European Union. Crucially these alternative models resonated powerfully with the wider categories of belonging in English conceptions of nationhood. By framing the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union as a return to the Anglosphere, Brexiteers were able to lessen the sense of rupture associated with Brexit in England and situate a potentially radical departure within narratives of continuity.

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