Top Ten of 2017 – #9 – Britain’s imperial ghosts have taken control of Brexit

Editor’s Note: In the weeks leading up to the new year, please help us remember 2017 at the Imperial & Global Forum by checking out the past year’s 10 most popular posts.

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Marc-William Palen
University of Exeter

As long as Theresa May’s Conservative government is representing the UK at the Brexit negotiating table, Britain’s imperial past will continue to haunt its European withdrawal. The ghost that looms largest is none other than the prime minister’s “political hero” and “new lodestar”, Birmingham’s turn-of-the-century imperial protectionist, Joseph Chamberlain.

Like the early 20th century that Chamberlain lived in, the world has witnessed a resurgence of economic nationalism since the 2007 to 2009 recession. Britain, through Brexit, is leading this retreat from economic globalisation. The May government’s proposal to pursue an economic plan of “Britain for the British” after Brexit harkens back to Chamberlain’s bygone imperial age of Tory protectionism. [continue reading]

4 thoughts on “Top Ten of 2017 – #9 – Britain’s imperial ghosts have taken control of Brexit

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