Ben Wellings
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Taking back control
Global Britain and Brexit England
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Obscured by the neologism ‘Brexit’ was a complex interplay of elite projects and popular grievances that combined through the device of a referendum to start the process of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. The place of the Anglosphere in the referendum campaign illustrated the way that Brexit could be profitably understood as a nationalist project that sought to realign the United Kingdom’s place in the global order framed within powerful English national narratives. These narratives operated to legitimise a significant rupture in the British, European and global order and sought to provide a reassuring sense of continuity (in England). With Brexiteers insisting that Britain’s EU past was merely an interregnum in its hitherto global story, allied with popular grievances over immigration that were strongest in the least ‘global’ parts of England, what we can identify as English nationalism played a major part in reshaping British, European and global politics.

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