Whatever kind of Brexit occurs – hard, soft, or none – people are going to be asking questions for many years about why this has happened and what it means. Just over a year before this talk is to be given, extra money had to be found to pay for Brexit in the November 2017 budget than could be found for the NHS. In early 2018 there was an unprecedented rise in deaths among elderly people in The UK.  On the same day as that budget, we also learnt that Britain would lose a place in the International Court of Justice for the first time since the court’s inception in 1946. But what can Geographers tell us about Brexit, what does Brexit tell us about the British, and what might inequality have to do with all of this?

The arguing and making of claims and counter-claims about Britain’s geographical status that is currently underway will not improve the image of Britain in the eyes of much of the rest of the world’s people.  But there is an upside. The British may well learn a great deal about themselves as a result. Not least that Britain, and even Brexit, has its roots in the British Empire. Traditionally British Geography, a subject that was partly born in this country due to Empire has not been very good at explaining what the Empire was and why it mattered. Brexit may well be the point at which the England finally learn about the importance of geography: from the Irish border through to the modern day priorities of India. And also when we learnt how much goes so very wrong when you have the widest economic inequalities in all of Europe.

 

A public lecture given by Danny Dorling
Equality North Somerset at the The Royal Hotel
Weston-super-Mare, December 5th 2018

 

 

 

The British Empire – by population today