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Brexit, the backstory: how Great Britons would have voted in the referendum

Poets, princes and an island apart

By Various   December 2016

Great Britons and Europe: a timeline

To many who voted “Remain” in June, the Leavers’ insistence on English exceptionalism was chauvinistic, deluded and—worst of all—alien to Britain’s outward-looking tradition. The truth, however, is that the tales we tell ourselves about “the kind of country we are” are never the whole story. To see that it is necessary only to reflect on the very disparate real individuals, from Henry VIII to John Maynard Keynes, who have shaped British history.

With nations—as with individuals—there are always different aspects of character, tugging against one another. The most extrovert of us can take…

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