Generation Brexit

Great idea

Being British: what does it mean?

I think that when speaking of 'hard Brexit' the British politicians are in denial. They envision Britishness as being somehow separated from being European, a strong and self-contained identity.

In reality, however, many of UK's citizens don't remember the times before the country's presence in the European Union. Though we might not realize it at first, the ideas presented as the very core of being British - inclusiveness, freedom and international cooperation - are closely entangled with the European identity of the UK.

The government should work hard to ensure those elements of British identity are reflected in the final agreement, ideally explicitly recognizing the need for maintaining strong ties with the EU. Otherwise, the greatest cost of Brexit might not be economic, but cultural. The UK might lose its very character - and that's not something that repaired overnight.

edited on Jan 18, 2018 by Zuzanna Balabuch

Marta Koch 10 months ago

Status label added: Great idea

Reply 3

Kristina Griffin 9 months ago

This is a brilliant idea! Because it is very true that majority of people would not remember before being apart of the EUC, yet, their main line of argument is that it’s tradition and we could cope before! Another problem, is that before we wasn’t so dependent on free trade/ movement etc but now it has been apart of economy and society for so long, that we have become dependent on it!

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Hugh D 9 months ago

Why do we need to give away our sovereignty, allow brutal pulse fishing in our waters and accept unelected bureaucrats deciding the rules that govern our lives? To keep these so-called European values? Is there no freedom or cooperation outside of the EU? I wonder how free the Greek people feel right now after seeing the benefits of the EU. If you identify as European that's fine but not everyone does and I don't see how I'm not allowed an identity separate from European because we decided to join a custom union in the 70s.

The real values of the EU are authoritarianism, anti-democracy (look how they treated Ireland when they voted against the Lisbon Treaty) and oligarchy. The banking elite are the only winners in the EU.

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Amy Smith 9 months ago

I think that the concept of identity is very complex and also integral to the debate leading up to Brexit. A recent report by the EEAG demonstrated that actually the majority of people across EU member states do not primarily identify as European so it is very common to identify as, for example - Scottish first, then British, then European. I do not believe that these identities negate one another. What do you think?

Do you also agree that the banking elite are the *only* (or one of few) winners in the UK and USA as well? Maintaining this elite is surely part of global free market capitalism. Do you think this is only an EU issue?

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Hugh D 9 months ago

I don't think these identities necessarily negate one another either. I can feel European without having to be a part of the EU. Leaving a political union does not impact my identity.

I would 100% agree they are one of the few winners in the US and UK as well. I would not agree that maintaining this incredible inequality is a needed part of capitalism though. It might not be only an EU issue but removing one layer of distant centralised control and bureaucracy is a step in the right direction I hope.

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luke clark 7 months ago

We have made it clear that diversity is part of the British culture now, and i don't believe 'hard Brexit' refers to stopping EU immigrants into the UK. But it does mean taking control away from the EU (who's ran by the un-elected), and back into the hands of the democratically elected House of Commons. And taking away the shadow that the European Court has been cast over our Judicial system.

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Fuhan Zeng 4 months ago

You have mentioned a vital aspect! In my opinion, the original purpose of Brexit is to get full control of sovereignty back to UK government, this mainly refer to political and economic aspects. But you are right, if Brexit is inevitable, a new identity is indeed necessary for people in the UK since the past days are too far away. I think in constructing national identity, media may play a big role.

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