Haus Publishing Ltd 2018
The British like to see themselves as tolerant and believers in fair play. Yet often their behaviour is exactly the opposite. This is the great British moral dilemma, a country forever conflicted as to whether they are lions who roar or lambs who bleat. In the days of empire these two faces of Britain meant, on the one hand, the metropolitan face of Magna Carta, of Habeas Corpus, the Mother of Parliaments, and the country that welcomed those forced to flee their homelands. But, on the other, to the wider world, the imperial face ensured colonial subjects were aware that the British exacted total obedience, sometimes with brutal force.
Brexit has reignited this duality. Those who voted ‘leave’ wanted the lion to roar again. The Remainers saw Brexit as an own goal, believing the only option was to continue in Europe, working out a common future.