The British and their Exceptionalism

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Series Details May 2017
Publication Date 03/05/2017
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On the face of it, Brexit looks like a protest vote by the left behind. But the underlying reason is the hubris and ignorance of much of the British elite, not just the eurosceptics among it. They are less worldly than they imagine themselves to be. Their exaggeration of British political and economic power has fed the idea that Britain can afford to leave the EU, indeed flourish outside of it. And they have tacitly encouraged the poor and insecure to blame their problems on EU membership, in order to shift attention from domestic policy failures. This message has been reinforced by a stridently eurosceptic, and sometimes xenophobic, print media. The country’s responsible papers have been loath to call out the xenophobic ones, either out of exaggerated respect for Britain or growing indifference to the country.

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ESO: Background information: The economic consequences of leaving the EU: the final report of the CER Commission on Brexit 2016
ESO: Background information: Brexit will make Britain's mediocre economic record worse
ESO: Background information: Brexit Britain: the poor man of Western Europe?

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