Seminar: Brexit II: The Empire Strikes Back (Based on a True Story)

Seminar: Brexit II: The Empire Strikes Back (Based on a True Story)

Department of Politics and Public Administration Seminar
 
‘Brexit II: The Empire Strikes Back (Based on a True Story)’ 
 
3PM Wednesday 14th September
Room F1030. 
                
All welcome!
 
The vote in Britain to leave the EU in June has been described as an ‘attack on the political class’, a rejection of ‘urban elitism’ and as the first big blow to the process of globalisation. Whilst these are important points to consider, this paper dismisses the idea that the Brexit vote can be seen as being ‘anti-establishment’ in any form. Instead, it shows how the main ‘intellectual roots’ of the leave campaign were rooted in a form of more radical market economics that were favoured by large sections of the British political and social elite from the mid-80s onwards. This has been noted by the shift in media endorsement of Brexit from the first referendum (in 1975) to the second. However, far from forging a campaign around these market principles, the xenophobic and nationalist content of the leave campaign has unleashed a set of reactionary forces that are going to be increasingly difficult to contain within an emerging post-Brexit settlement.