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Is Brexit an English nationalist movement?

(47 Posts)
Mistigri Sun 19-Jun-16 13:07:46

Interesting point of view here:

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/18/england-eu-referendum-brexit

"When you strip away the rhetoric, Brexit is an English nationalist movement. If the Leave side wins the referendum, it will almost certainly be without a majority in either Scotland or Northern Ireland and perhaps without winning Wales either. The passion that animates it is English self-assertion. And the inexorable logic of Brexit is the logic of English nationalism: the birth of a new nation state bounded by the Channel and the Tweed."

Assuming that England votes for leave, but Scotland and N Ireland for remain, how would you feel about a potential break up of the UK?

I'm a remain voter who finds all kinds of nationalism distasteful, so I personally would greatly regret the break up of the UK if this should ever happen. However, I recognise that the more resonant Leave arguments - about democracy, about taking back control, about not having your future decided by distant politicians - are equally resonant at local level in Scotland and (for Catholics at least) in N Ireland.

Heratnumber7 Sun 19-Jun-16 13:11:53

Not to bothered about Scotland leaving. I'd be interested to see how they fund their free university places without the handout from central government mostly paid for by taxpayers in England

CoolforKittyCats Sun 19-Jun-16 13:14:47

What if Scotland Wales and NI vote overwhelmingly remain but England vote Leave but vote ends up being Remain?

In Scotland case I think NS will find any reason to go for another referendum whether we leave or remain.

wibblewobble8 Sun 19-Jun-16 13:15:09

i dont know, but certainly most of my fb friends who were anti independence in the Scottish referendum are nearly all anti EU (from what i can see from the several million posts that are taking over my fb feed). Take from that what you will. they are all self interested Tory voters from what i can deduce I was pro independence in Scottish Ref and completely undecided on EU. Prob vote remain in the hope that England votes leave and maybe force another Scottish independence ref :D

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 19-Jun-16 13:16:46

We'll have to see once the votes come in, then have the conversation. I think it's pointless talking about it now.

I think English nationals should vote the way they want to without the responsibilty on them for what the other nations do. Unless they feel British more than English in which case they will naturally take it into consideration.

howtorebuild Sun 19-Jun-16 13:17:42

If Scotland wants to move from a union within the UK to a union within the EU, that's their choice.

Kelandry Sun 19-Jun-16 13:20:21

Why is it ok to be a Scottish nationalist, but English nationalists are basically portrayed as neo nazis?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 19-Jun-16 13:23:09

Quite Kelandry. I don't recall having the chance to vote in a referendum before. The Scots have had the chance to vote on their future twice!

Mistigri Sun 19-Jun-16 13:23:10

It's no more or less pointless to talk about this than fantasies like British kids being conscripted into an "EU army".

The point is not to discuss whether it would happen, but how people would feel about it - whether they are consistently nationalist ie want self-determination for all parts of the UK, or not. My own position is that while I would understand moves to leave the UK on the part of Scotland, I would still disagree with it.

BritBrit Sun 19-Jun-16 13:25:09

England, Wales- Leave
Scotland- Stay
Northern Ireland- could go either way

Winterbiscuit Sun 19-Jun-16 13:29:44

Brexit is not a "movement", it's just short for Britain exiting the EU.

You're right to point out the "the more resonant Leave arguments - about democracy, about taking back control, about not having your future decided by distant politicians".

Nationalism is the belief that your country is better than others. Choosing not be part of a political bloc is not "nationalism".

The media has given far too much airtime to Farage, and so has Cameron by avoiding "blue on blue" debate. "Blue on purple" is far less likely to include the moderate and genuine reasons for choosing Leave, and gives a false impression. This then leads to people with far-right views expressing them more often and claiming they're mainstream.

Mistigri Sun 19-Jun-16 13:30:42

In recent polling, remain has a huge majority in NI.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Sun 19-Jun-16 13:32:54

What if Scotland Wales and NI vote overwhelmingly remain but England vote Leave but vote ends up being Remain?

That will be interesting though unsettling would it lead to other referendums

Mistigri Sun 19-Jun-16 13:34:11

Winter, nationalism is not necessarily far right and that's not at all what this thread is about.

The point is that the logical consequence of using "self-determination" as the reason for leaving the EU is to fundamentally undermine the Union, if only England and perhaps Wales vote to leave.

glenthebattleostrich Sun 19-Jun-16 13:42:29

But winter makes an excellent point. You can be proud of your individual nation within the UK as long as you aren't English.

And theiri s a vote on the eu army to beheld on 24th June, it was deliberately delayed until after the referendum.

May I suggest readingt he actual eu documents rather than rely on any section of the press. Read it then ask yourself if it is something you would vote for.

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 13:42:50

Mmm! Again an expression of distaste for anything English. Why is that?

But in Fintan's case it seems to be fine to infantilise an entire nation in order to make a point... but it was nice of him to allow us a point of view, an indistinct English perspective, wasn't it?

Or is it just me who finds that piece just another of the weirdly insulting, no real point to make but let me sneer for a moment, self indulgent utterances that both sides of the EU debate seem to be so expert in?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 19-Jun-16 13:47:52

No not just you OurBlanche

wibblewobble8 Sun 19-Jun-16 14:35:58

Does nationalism mean you think your country is better than others? Most of snp voters (including myself) have been given that label.better than who? I don't think Scotland is better or worse than any other UK countries (but think it's better than some other countries).

NewLife4Me Sun 19-Jun-16 14:39:30

Do people really think that votes will be counted and we actually have a say?
We aren't going to leave the EU as government won't allow it grin
The democracy is being able to vote, not having a count up so we get a say.

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 14:48:05

I don't think so, wibblewobble. I just think I like being English... lucky as I was born here smile

I think nationalism has been contrived to mean National Front over recent years. Maybe many people only know that version.

But I am saddened whenever I read about St Georges flags being taken down, just in case someone is offended. Or simply Being English being equated with racism.

I am English. I am not Scottish, German, Martian... I would like to be able to say so without people accusing me of having said I eat small children for breakfast!

Winterbiscuit Sun 19-Jun-16 15:06:36

I've looked at a few dictionary definitions and yes, there's more than one meaning to "nationalism".

E.g. from Collins:

1. a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population and often produces a policy of national independence or separatism
2. loyalty or devotion to one's country; patriotism
3. exaggerated, passionate, or fanatical devotion to a national community. See also chauvinism

Oxford Dictionaries

1. Patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts: an early consciousness of nationalism and pride
1.1 An extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries: playing with right-wing nationalism
More example sentences
1.2 Advocacy of political independence for a particular country: Scottish nationalism

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 15:11:35

So I was right it is an extreme, and therefore unusual, interpretation, if you think it connotes superiority, that is a right wing version... not all patriots are right wing, by definition, it seems.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 19-Jun-16 15:15:07

English nationalism? When Wales elected Neil Mostyn Hamilton and his chums to be AMs?

Winterbiscuit Sun 19-Jun-16 15:36:59

Mistigri I'm sorry to have misunderstood. Thank you for clarifying that you weren't using the word "nationalism" in that way.

Mistigri Sun 19-Jun-16 15:39:02

Just because English nationalism has, in recent decades, been an almost exclusively (far) right wing phenomenon doesn't mean that all nationalism is right wing. Nationalism in Catalonia or the Basque Country, or in Ireland, has never been part of a right-wing movement. Nationalism has more in common with religion than with the right-left political spectrum (in the sense that it's a belief in an abstract concept of nationhood).

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