Whatever kind of Brexit occurs – hard, soft, or even a last minute cancellation and staying in the European Union – the public and especially today’s university and school students (who had no vote) are going to be asking questions about why this has happened and what it means for many years to come.

The arguing and making of claims and counter-claims about Britain’s geographical status that has recently been taking place within the UK will probably 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 of having voted to ‘Leave’. 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 so much to Britain. Brexit may well be the point at which the English, in particular, finally learn about the importance of geography.

Geography is central to Brexit, from the Irish border, through to the modern day priorities of India. This talk includes the suggestion that living with the highest rate of income inequality in Europe was our real problem, not being in the EU. But why did we come to be so unequal and what does that half to do with the legacy of the British Empire? The source of our woes was not immigrants or some perceived lack of sovereignty, but of our own making.

Click play below to hear Danny Dorling speaking to the Geographical Association, meeting at Talbot Health School, Bournemouth, on March 20th 2019 – on the evening that Theresa May chose to try to condemn MPs in a public address to the four nations at 815pm, before she later (in effect) apologised for her actions.

For a full account of the argument made in this talk click here.

A portrait of Theresa May by Erika, February 2019

A portrait of Theresa May by Erika, February 2019