For elections in Britain, the polling stations stay open until late, with counting through to dawn. So it was a sleepless night for many on Thursday, 23 June 2016 watching the Brexit referendum results on BBC1, its impressive graphics showing a divided country with cities supporting Europe, the countryside firmly against. As a new working day began, the count topped the 16.8 million votes required for Britain to leave the European Union. Within hours, Prime Minister David Cameron had announced his resignation and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was under challenge for a perceived failure to campaign effectively to 'remain'. With Scotland and Northern Ireland voting for Europe, commentators predicted the dissolution of the British union. After forty-three years in Europe, Britain had slipped its moorings, with no new destination in sight.
Glyn Davis reviews 'Britain's Europe: A thousand years of conflict and cooperation' by Brendan Simms
Britain’s Europe: A thousand years of conflict and cooperation
by Brendan Simms
Allen Lane, $49.99 hb, 338 pp, 9780241275962
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Glyn Davis is CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at ANU. Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne (2005–18). His publications include The Australian Policy Handbook (Allen & Unwin, 2007) The Future of Australian Governance (Allen & Unwin, 2000), and Are You Being Served?: State, Citizens and Governance (Allen & Unwin, 2001). His recent Boyer Lectures are now available: The Republic of Learning (ABC Books).
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