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A vote against the mass immigration society

Britain has become increasingly liberal in recent decades, including on race equality, but has never embraced mass immigration and never been asked what it thought about it—until now

© Ray Tang/REX/Shutterstock

The Brexit vote was evidently not just about immigration. But if there is a paramount reason for Britain’s shock decision to leave the European Union it is the seething discontent of a large slice of the public created by 20 years of historically unprecedented immigration and the insouciant response of the political class to this change—one that never appeared in an election manifesto and was never chosen by anyone.

The consensus of establishment opinion over the past generation—minus several tabloid newspapers—has ranged from a…

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