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Brexit: Dividing the United Kingdom


On June 23rd, 2016, 52% of voters in the United Kingdom stunned the British political and media establishment—and the entire world—by voting to leave the European Union. Nearly three years, later, however, the final outcome of Brexit remains uncertain. And issues that affect the lives of millions hang in the balance, from the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and Britons living in the EU, to the status of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In this month’s History Talk, we speak with Professors Laura Beers and Ian Sheldon to better understand the roots and consequences of Brexit. How has the relationship between Britain and the European continent changed? What were the political and economic forces that compelled the UK to join the EU in the first place? What made so many Britons eager to leave? We'll explore these questions, and more, during our conversation about this fast-changing situation.

workman in white coveralls with a chisel, chiseling one of four yellow stars off a blue background

For more on the United Kingdom and the European Union, check out European Disunion: The Rise and Fall of a Post-War Dream?, Treating the Symptoms: Northern Ireland’s Incomplete Peace, and The EU: Past, Present, and Future.

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Posted March 2019

[A transcript of this podcast is available here.]