It Was Not Meant to Be This Way

An Unfortunate Case of Anglo-Saxon Parochialism?

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures
Author: Tom Frost 1
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  • 1 University of Sussex T.M.Frost@sussex.ac.uk
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Abstract

In June 2016, the United Kingdom’s electorate voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. This article examines ‘Brexit’ from the perspective of British, or English, exceptionalism. It argues that the Leave vote was caused by a number of factors: underlying myths and exceptionalism about the U.K. and its relationship with ‘Europe’; the fallout from the 2007–2008 financial crisis; the austerity policies undertaken in the U.K. since 2010; and the increased migration into the U.K. after the financial crisis, in particular from other EU Member States. The article concludes by arguing that Brexit should serve as an important lesson to listen to all people who feel abandoned by the EU, austerity and globalisation, to hear their stories and perspectives. Only then can we start to think about whether there are shared values and principles which could form the basis for a European politics of the future.

Contributor Notes

Tom Frost, School of Law, Politics and Sociology, University of Sussex, England (T.M.Frost@sussex.ac.uk)

Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

(formerly: Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures)

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