‘England’ and ‘Britain’ further apart post-Brexit, says new book on English identity and institutions

As the ongoing Brexit debate brings up questions of constitution and identity in the UK, a volume published by the British Academy concludes that the traditional conflation of ‘England’ and ‘Britain’ is getting harder to maintain.

‘Governing England: English identity and institutions in a changing United Kingdom’ “sheds greater light on questions of English identity and how it affects how people feel about separate English political institutions.”

It brings together contributions from some of the UK’s leading political scientists and historians, including polling expert Sir John Curtice and former Cabinet Minister Professor John Denham.

The volume is edited by Professor Michael Kenny, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, Akash Paun, Senior Fellow of the Institute for Government, and Professor Iain McLean, a Fellow of the British Academy and Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.

It is the culmination of Governing England, a two-year British Academy project exploring governance and identity in England.

Upon launching the book Professor Kenny said:

“England is the only nation of the UK not to have had a national conversation about its place in the UK post-devolution. Our analysis shows that the English are not content with how they are presently governed, but neither is there consensus on the way forward.

“As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is important that the academic community and politicians alike consider the governance of England, as well as the UK.”

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