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Brexit and the British

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Brexit seems to be a never-ending saga. Who is ready for the final season?

At the moment, there is no end in sight to the twists provided by the Brexit saga: UK’s Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists that “a revised agreement is possible if the EU is willing”, whilst the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, claims that Boris Johnson’s government will have to bear full responsibility for a no-deal Brexit. More than three years of talks between the UK and Brussels have revealed all the limits of the British political class, as well as the determination of Brussels institutions and its bureaucrats.

The case for or against membership of the EU involves questions about sovereignty, migration and border control, commercial trade-offs, and also issues of geopolitics (for example, is Nato sufficient for Britain’s geopolitical security?).

However, the most important and almost completely undiscussed question is one about identity. And the merit of Brexit is probably having shown us how divided Britain is and how the British identity is still deeply imbued by its imperial past.

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