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Six lessons about “real” people, Brexit, and the EU

Wolff, Guntram, (2016), “Six lessons about “real” people, Brexit, and the EU”, Bruegel, 27 June

The result of the UK referendum on 23 June has been portrayed as a victory for “real people”. But what consequences will the result have, and how should the UK and EU now react?  “…this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.” These are the words of Nigel Farage, on June 24, celebrating what he described as independence day. And he goes on “We have fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies, corruption and deceit. And today honesty, decency and belief in nation, I think now is going to win…..”. “I hope this victory brings down this failed project and leads us to a Europe of sovereign nation states.” These words will resonate across the UK, the EU and across the world for quite some time. They will need substantial debate in the coming months. Let me start with six reflections.

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