Brexit and Britain’s Culture Wars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The central focus of the Conservatives’ successful 2019 election campaign was resolution. The promise, endlessly repeated, was to “get Brexit done”, ending three years of angry deadlock and moving the national agenda on to other things. Yet, like many previous political slogans, “get Brexit Done” is likely to deliver narrowly, yet disappoint the broader hopes of resolution and reconciliation it has raised. The identity conflicts mobilised into politics by the 2016 EU referendum long predate that referendum and run much deeper than arguments about trade and political integration. Brexit has become a powerful symbolic rallying point for both sides in this conflict, but the differences between Leavers and Remainers were never only, or even primarily, about Britain’s relations to the EU. Brexit may resolve, for now, one argument between these groups, but it leaves plenty of other conflicts unresolved. “Getting Brexit done” cannot heal divisions that Brexit didn’t create.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-7
Number of pages4
JournalPolitical Insight
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Brexit
  • Identity politics


Dive into the research topics of 'Brexit and Britain’s Culture Wars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this