Nationalism is back. In the last two years, nationalists have conquered the core of conventional politics in an electoral resurgence that has brought it back from the fringes. Its support, discourses and arguments draw on old logics but directly address grievances born out of global effects of the economic revolution that begun in the 1980s. While 2017 saw the consolidation of nationalist successes in the West, 2018 will see their ideas put to the test.
Something has been absent from Brexit commentary and discourse. We’ve heard plenty about the single-market debate, the rights of EU citizens in Britain, the perplexing Irish border issue and the looming spectre of Nicola Sturgeon’s Indyref2. But little has been said about the plainly apparent rise of a distinctively English national identity and its role in this saga – and yes, I do mean English.