The Brexit Conspiracy, by N. Lenoir | Project Syndicate

The possibility that Britain may exit the European Union is undeniable. For decades, prominent British politicians have propounded their disdain for Europe; as a result, euroskepticism in the United Kingdom has become entrenched. When the country holds a referendum on its EU membership on June 23, many voters may be unwilling to vote to remain. Several factors have conspired to make a British exit, or “Brexit,” possible. Foremost is the rise of populism. After the UK ratified the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the British politician Nigel Farage left the Conservative Party and founded the UK Independence Party. Since then, he has made leaving the EU his life’s work (even though he takes full advantage of all the perks and privileges of being a member of the European Parliament). The effectiveness of his nationalist rhetoric is proof that the UK is not immune to populist demagoguery.

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