Fintan O'Toole: English nationalism is too naive to know its limits

Because the Brexiteers cannot articulate the force that drives them, they cannot set its boundaries

Former British prime minister David Cameron has joined other ex-leaders of the country to express concern at Boris Johnson's plan to break international law by overriding parts of the Brexit divorce treaty with the European Union.

What has brought the UK to the point of openly declaring its intention to break international law is not just English nationalism. It is the strangely contradictory nature of that nationalism. It is the motive force of a genuine political revolution. Yet it dare not speak its own name.

It will not acknowledge itself and thus does not know itself. It is everywhere and nowhere, shaping the whole course of Brexit, but itself barely articulated. Because it cannot even admit its own existence, its limits cannot be mapped and its consequences cannot be weighed.

The Irish Times
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