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A History of Brexit: A Review Essay

31 March 2020

After Brexit? European Unity and the Unity of European Churches
Mattias Grebe and Jeremy Worthen, eds. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2019, 157pp., pbk, £27.08

Theologising Brexit: A Liberationist and Postcolonial Critique
Anthony G. Reddie Routledge, 2019, x + 255pp., hbk, £120.00

 

It already seems like a lot of history has happened since the Referendum was held on 23 June 2016 to decide whether Britain would leave the European Union. We would be unwise to think that it is all behind us, even though the Prime Minister signed the Withdrawal Agreement on 24 January 2020. The subsequent negotiations and discussions will no doubt prove to be eventful. The last (nearly) four years have given some time to reflect on how we have ended up where we are whilst we have been watching the drama of the ‘how’ we will leave play out. As these two books being reviewed here show, the history behind the Referendum is much longer than recent, if interminable, current affairs. For one, it is a history that stretches back to the age of Empire, colonialism and slavery. For the other, modern Europe – its nations and its churches – cannot be understood without going back at least as far as the end of the Second World War.

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