Brexit and the end of the British Empire, Keele Public Lecture
With gratitude to the man from the Stoke area who asked the first question, after listening to this argument, and said: ‘You put me right’.
Abstract: From Brexit the British may 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 its current form in Britain 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. Living with the highest rate of income inequality in Europe could have been the real problem for the British, not being in the EU. The source of British woes was not immigrants or some perceived lack of sovereignty, but of their own making, and possibly partly an outcome of having so recently been at the heart of the largest empire the world has ever known.
Danny Dorling speaking about the book he wrote with Sally Tomlinson “Rule Britannia: From Brexit to the end of Empire”, A Public Lecture, Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keele University, May 15th 2019