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'They Just Want That Spark of Revolution': Brexit, EU and US Politics

Sam Greenhalgh

It’s been a little over a month since voters in the United Kingdom passed a referendum calling for the country to withdraw from the European Union. The Brexit vote shook British politics to its core – among other things it caused rapid declines in the value of the pound and prompted seismic shifts in the two major political parties – the Conservatives and Labour.

Still, little has really changed in Britain, post-Brexit vote. For now, the United Kingdom will remain in the European Union. EU leader Angela Merkel has allowed the formal exit process to begin in 2017, and will likely take about 4 years. 

"What has changed, completely, is our entire political landscape. We've got a new prime minister, we've got a new cabinet, we've got an awful lot of things going on in the opposition party in parliament," says Claire Bolderson, an independent journalist based in London. "So there's an awful lot of domestic, political upheaval, but when it comes to the EU - well, we're still in it."

Bolderson says it's unclear how the UK will proceed from here, as many countries in the EU have voiced varying opinions of its decision to leave. But she says the Brexit vote is indicative of a cultural backlash in Britain that also seems to resonate in the US. 

"There is this sort of craving for something different, some revolution, some anarchy," says Bolderson. "Something that'll make people feel like their problems are being addressed, because they haven't been. Because they hear the same politicians at the same conventions and conferences, and in congress and in parliament here. They hear them saying the same things, and they don't believe them anymore. And they just want that spark of revolution." 

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.