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Newspaper headlines capture the shock of Brexit after the U.K. voted to leave the EU. Newspaper headlines capture the shock of Brexit in the days after the U.K. voted to leave the EU, Freiburg, Germany, June 25, 2016 (Photo by Winfried Rothermel for dpa via AP images).

From Fringe to Fault Line: How British Euroskepticism Became Brexit

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019

On the morning of June 24, 2016, Britons woke up to a new reality—and to what, for many of them, surely felt like a new and unfamiliar country. A day earlier, 52 percent of the U.K. electorate had unexpectedly voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum, a result that had blindsided most experts. The newspaper headlines that morning reflected the general mood, which could be best described as shellshock.

“Brexit Earthquake,” declared The Times of London, succinctly capturing the emotional state of most Remain voters. “Britain breaks with Europe,” was the Financial Times’ more sober take, but the article was accompanied by a picture of then-Prime Minister David Cameron with his hand clasped over his mouth as if he were trying to hold back a sob. ...

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