chapter  15
15 Pages

The (Anti-)Politics of Brexit

ByMatthew Flinders

This chapter explores the relationship(s) between anti-political sentiment and Brexit. The challenge for the political and social sciences, however, is that understanding the relationship(s) between Brexit and anti-politics is the intellectual equivalent of being charged with untangling a vast Gordian knot of complex, multifaceted, interwoven and densely layered factors. The chapter substantiates the argument that anti-political sentiment was a critical underlying factor in explaining the decision to leave the European Union (EU). In the post-crisis 'age of austerity', anti-political sentiment had increased and was visible through a number of authoritative social surveys. As Alan Finlayson has noted, Brexit became a campaign of 'anti-political politics organised around resentment at past losses and scepticism about promised futures'. It is possible to suggest that the spillover consequences of Brexit have had very direct and tangible impacts upon British politics due to the manner in which it framed the 2017 general election.