A Cambridge University professor has branded the 17,410,742 people who voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum “lager louts” and “ruffians”.
In a bizarre article for The New European, which views the Leave vote as nothing more than an outpouring of English nationalism, Prof. Nicholas Boyle, Emeritus Schröder Professor of German at the University of Cambridge asserted:
“The referendum vote does not deserve to be respected because, as an outgrowth of English narcissism, it is itself disrespectful of others, of our allies, partners, neighbours, friends, and, in many cases, even relatives. Like resentful ruffians uprooting the new trees in the park and trashing the new play area, 17 million English, the lager louts of Europe, voted for Brexit in an act of geopolitical vandalism.”
Boyle is mistaken in his characterisation of the vote to leave as purely an English phenomenon – in fact, more than 2.2 million non-English Brits voted in favour of Leave; Wales returned a victory for Leave of 52.5 per cent.
However, in a line sure to provoke the ire of the Welsh people, Boyle argues that Wales is nothing more than an “appendage” of England, in contrast with the more independent Scotland and Northern Ireland. He suggests, therefore, that the Leave vote highlighted not a division between the ‘elites’ and ‘the people’, but the “colossal divergence between England, with its Welsh appendage, on the one hand, and Scotland and Northern Ireland on the other”.
The whole motivation behind the decision to leave the EU, he argues, is nothing more than a manifestation of English disappointment over losing the British Empire, and latterly over the partial dissolvement of the United Kingdom.
“The trauma of lost exceptionalism, the psychic legacy of empire, haunts the English to the present day, in the illusion that their country needs to find itself a global role. Of course it is an illusion: do roughly comparable countries such as Germany or Italy or Japan have such a need?
“The psychosis, the willed triumph of illusion over reality revealed by the referendum result, is most damagingly still at work in the determination of the English to cling on to their old exceptional status as anonymous masters of the United Kingdom and of the other nations with which they have to share the Atlantic Archipelago,” he insisted.
The Professor’s comments come as Prime Minister Theresa May announced her government’s plans to deliver so-called ‘Hard Brexit’ – the exit of Britain from both the European Union and the European Single Market. Speaking in London today, May outlined a twelve step plan for delivering a “global Britain.”