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One of the primary motivations behind the United Kingdom’s divisive Brexit referendum of 2016 was the widely shared sense of victimhood filling the minds of British voters in the years leading up to the plebiscite. Throughout the campaign and in the decades previous to it, the country’s Eurosceptic lobby had crafted the legend of a Great Britain brought low through the machinations of bean-counting bureaucrats and greasy-palmed politicians in Europe. Raised on the imperial myth of British exceptionalism, a majority of the electorate found itself susceptible to the resentment-filled rhetoric of the Brexiteers, harking to the claim that the continental nations had succeeded where Napoleon’s France and Hitler’s Germany had failed, snatching away the freedom and independence of the British (or rather, the English) people through emasculating treaties and agreements.

Only by unshackling itself from the European Union, so went the logic, could the UK return to its rightful place…

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