In her new book, Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis steps out of the bounds of traditional academia to offer a unique take both on Brexit and on the power of mythical stories to frame our democratic conversation. She conjures up three archetypes to explore the competing visions that have clashed so dramatically over the meaning of Brexit, whether as the ultimate demonstration of British exceptionalism, a harbinger of terrible truths for the EU and the West or a sacrifice on the altar of EU unity. While she castigates the European project for its failure to accommodate the longings of the continent in all their glorious variety, she contends with the ironic possibility that after and perhaps because of Brexit, the EU will live up to the pluralist ideals that define both the best of Britain and the best of Europe. Ultimately, the book offers a plea for a smarter, kinder Brexit 2.0. and for acknowledging each other’s stories, with their many variants, ambiguities and contradictions.
Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis is one of the foremost experts on Brexit and has published widely on the EU. She was a “wise man” for the European Council and is currently chair of the Oxford University working group on Brexit.