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The AnglosphereContinuity, Dissonance and Location$
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Ben Wellings and Andrew Mycock

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266618

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266618.001.0001

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Underwriting Brexit: The European Union in the Anglosphere Imagination

Underwriting Brexit: The European Union in the Anglosphere Imagination

(p.207) 12 Underwriting Brexit: The European Union in the Anglosphere Imagination
The Anglosphere

Helen Baxendale

Ben Wellings

British Academy

In the eyes of senior Brexiteers, the Anglosphere constituted a familiar and appropriate international grouping for post-Brexit Britain. Strikingly similar views about the European Union also emanated from Anglosphere enthusiasts outside Europe, highlighting the role of the European Union (EU) as an ‘other’ against which the Anglosphere was cast. These detractors’ views of the European project fed into the Brexit referendum campaign. They helped create a distinctively Anglo-British Anglosphere resting on three pillars: parliamentary sovereignty, the memory of empire, and twentieth-century conflict, underpinned by a meta-narrative concerning the emergence and export of a particular form of liberty. By establishing the salience of the Anglosphere idea in right- and left-leaning newspapers since 1999 and by examining the discursive co-constitution of the Anglosphere and the EU during the 2016 referendum, this chapter illustrates how senior Brexiteers offered the Anglosphere as a vision of an alternative political community to the European Union.

Keywords:   Anglosphere, Brexit, European Union, co-constitution

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