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Available Expert - Historical context around Brexit vote

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Queen’s University British history expert Patrick Corbeil is available to comment on the historical context of this week’s referendum vote in the United Kingdom on whether to remain part of the European Union. Mr. Corbeil argues that examining the historical relationship between the UK and Europe as a whole can offer insight into the Leave and Remain campaigns, as well as the future implications for immigration, Scottish independence and peace in Northern Ireland.

“There is a long-standing and powerful national myth going back to the turn of the twentieth century that Britain, particularly England, is not truly European,” explains Mr. Corbeil. “This helps to explain why Britain’s relationship – first with the European Economic Community and then the EU – has been one of the most divisive recurring problems in British politics over the last 50-plus years. The interplay of regional identity, national mythology, and post-WWII transformations in both Britain’s geopolitical position and demographic makeup helps to explain why this EU referendum has been so fraught and contentious.”

Mr. Corbeil is a doctoral candidate in history at Queen’s University with a primary research focus on Great Britain and the Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. He is available for interviews from June 22 to 24.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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