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Britain’s identity has always been international—let’s build a political community from it

As the UK re-assesses its relationship with Europe—and the rest of the world—politicians must focus on the civic as well as the national aspect of British identity

By Josh Simons  

Even Britain's long history of war has something to teach us about international co-operation. Photo: PA

Identities are driving political turbulence across the world. The ugly sight of police offers confronting their own citizens in Catalan should remind us that national identities matter in politics. This is the right moment to explore the contemporary resonance of British identity.

Britain is used to dealing with complexity and contradiction. Our language reflects this. To express bravery, we can say valour or courage (French), tenacity or fortitude (Latin), fearlessness or balls (Anglo-Saxon English). So…

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