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British Prime Minister Theresa May, center, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, right, at an EU summit, Brussels, Oct. 20, 2017 (AP photo by Virginia Mayo).

What Does a Divided Post-Brexit Landscape Mean for Britain’s Populist Right?

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017

Nearly 18 months have passed since Britain voted for Brexit, a decision that was backed by 52 percent of voters in Britain overall and nearly 54 percent in England. Support for leaving the European Union was much deeper among manual workers, around 60 percent of whom backed the referendum, along with an estimated 75 percent of people with no qualifications—people who left school at 16 and then stayed out of the education system.

Since the Brexit vote, Britain’s political landscape has changed considerably. Theresa May has replaced David Cameron, who as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party was responsible for calling the referendum in order to fulfill a re-election pledge he made in 2013. Cameron’s more socially liberal brand of conservatism attracted significant support from middle-class Britons and university graduates, but it also pushed traditional euroskeptic conservatives into the arms of the hard-right U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, which had long advocated for Brexit. ...

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