Brexit and the British Identity Crisis

British expansion empire It lies at the heart of British identity, but old loyalties persist. Nationalism in Scotland and Wales thrives on English arrogance. The English will have to swallow their sense of superiority. They will have to do everything they can to make it outside the European Union.

In 2006, Dutch Princess Maxima was criticized for putting Dutch identity in perspective in a speech. But the critics did not listen properly. The princess did not deny the existence of a Dutch identity, but argued that Dutch identity should not be normative. If one defines identity as a mixture of personality, beliefs, idiosyncrasies, and behavior and meets those criteria for a country, the result is often a typical normative framework. Whoever falls outside of this has a problem. Describing a country’s identity on the basis of stereotypes violates reality. The stereotypes are not correct by themselves, but they are by no means complete.

Anyone who talks about British identity should know that one is often talking about England or Great Britain when he is referring to the United Kingdom (United Kingdom). Great Britain is the main island along with England, Wales and Scotland. Great Britain and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom. The founding of the United Kingdom in 1707 was not an agreement between equals. England, which had been in charge of Wales for several centuries, was the most economically and culturally developed one. empire, The British colonial empire, was also a predominantly English company. The Scots were allowed to participate in the construction, but the administration and thus the exploitation of the colonies was mainly in the hands of the English.

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British expansion empire It was the beginning of the British identity. The British were almost always at war. From 1689 to 1815, they were officially at war with France seven times, for a total of 58 years. Between them, there was always competition for colonies and an expanding sphere of influence. This prompted the government to inculcate a sense of community among the population. When patriotism helped gain political rights, the British also began to show British identity. They were Protestants, French Catholics. They were decent people, unreliable French, decadent, and militaristic. In the colonies, they were decent white Britons for the uncivilized and worldly indigenous peoples.

Experience in the colonies was the main driver for the emergence of British identity, but old loyalties such as those of the Welsh and the Scots persisted. British allegiance appears to be a “blanket” identity. Brexit appears to be pulling the rug away from British identity. The British no longer had to oppose 27 different countries in Brussels Europeans Consequently, they lose part of their identity. British historian Norman Davies Says Even the UK is due to break up empire He lost all the reason for his existence. Davis believes that the United Kingdom is collapsing and that the divided parts are joining the European continent.

Nationalism in Scotland and Wales has not completely disappeared. British citizenship is only a matter of Protestants in Northern Ireland. Thus they could oppose the Catholic unitaries. Nationalism in Scotland and Wales thrives on English arrogance. Material matters also play a role. The majority of the proceeds from oil extracted in Scottish waters went to the government in London. The English are gradually realizing the erosion of the British identity. They see Scottish nationalism growing and fear isolation. And it becomes clear to us that English nationalism is out of the question.

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The UK’s survival in its current form is uncertain. The Scots want to join the European Union. The London government will not be able to stop them forever. And Wales is also not happy with Brexit. The Brexit deal has dire consequences for Northern Ireland. The discovery of the border in the Irish Sea does not work. Reunification with the Republic of Ireland is unimaginable. Where is England then? The English will have to work on their national identity and feelings. They will have to swallow their arrogance and sense of superiority. They should be open to foreign countries on the basis of equality. And they will have to do everything they can to make it outside the European Union.

If they choose an easy solution by joining the United States, they will love it Junior partner Coming home from a rude awakening.

This article is a very brief version of the “Brexit and the British Identity Crisis” section of the chapter “Brexit: Global Britain or a British Mistake?” From my new book, to be published this spring, under the title “The World After Trump and Merkel.”

This article appeared on March 3, 2021 Geopolitics in Context

Megan Vasquez

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