openDemocracyUK

An Englishman, a Scotswoman and Irishman talk about Brexit

Fintan O'Toole, Lesley Riddoch and Anthony Barnett grapple with the 'Strange passions of Brexit'.

Anthony Barnett
15 January 2019

Many outside the UK are baffled by what is going on with Brexit and the cultural implosion that seems to be taking place. This short discussion may help. It is not about policy - instead it addresses the strucure of feeling in England. On Friday 11 January, an emergency Convention on a People's Vote over Brexit and how to 'Think Anew, Act Anew' was held in London, convened in just over a week by Henry Porter. It was opened by Caroline Lucas, whose powerful message set the direction of the day. A sequence of panels of often young speakers set a new spirit for popular opposition to Brexit. Videos of all the sessions can be watched here. I was fortunate enough to be on a panel with Fintan O'Toole, author of Heroic Failure, chaired and moderated by Lesley Riddoch, author of Blossom, what Scotland needs to flourish. She got us to tackle some of the issues closest to the bone, not least the nature of the English support for the Brexit vote and its relationship with Britishness and Europe. 

 

 

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