This sceptic isle
Euroscepticism is an English problem not a UK problem. And, I would venture, it is even more accurate to view this as an English non-urban white issue. It stems from a latent sense of superiority and xenophobia, in spite of the fact that our economic and political clout has been steadily declining for over a century, and our football team is now beyond crap. And it is of a piece with the anti-immigration discourse. These are deep-seated prejudices which I don’t think can be shifted for a long time to come, though try we must. Having said that, I suspect that when confronted with a referendum, the country will overall vote yes to staying in the EU, because for all the distasteful traits in the national psyche, it is pragmatism and self-interest (i.e. money) that tend to prevail. Unless of course, the Scots vote to leave the Union next autumn… Then we really might face the comedy nightmare prospect envisioned by Julian Barnes.