How Brexit happened ($)

Britain went from enthusiastic commitment to the EU to an acrimonious departure on unfavourable terms

Britain’s history meant it was always ambivalent towards the European “project”. For most continental countries, building European unity was a reaction to the horrors of the second world war and its aftermath. The Germans were escaping Nazism, the French defeat and collaboration, the Italians dictatorship, the eastern Europeans, when they eventually joined, Soviet domination. Britain was the only member that felt no need to escape from its past—indeed, in many ways, it preferred wallowing in the past to confronting the future. For Britain, unlike the rest of Europe, the nation state is something to be celebrated rather than transcended.

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