Brexit, Shakespeare, and International Law – OUP Blog

Posted March 6th, 2017 in brexit, Christianity, EC law, news, referendums by sally

‘How to make sense of the Brexit vote and its aftermath? To where can we look if we are to learn more, and to learn more deeply, of the agonistic parts played by principle and pragmatism in human decision-making where self, sovereignty and economic well-being are concerned? In this short blog I will argue that King John – Shakespeare’s English history play with the earliest setting of all – casts the longest and, perhaps the strongest, light. The dramatic premise of the play is King John’s dispute with the King of France regarding the sovereignty of England. It is agreed that their dispute should be handed over to a plebiscite of the people, in this case, the citizens of Angiers who look down on the rival kings from the walls of their town. In this respect the play rehearses The EU referendum, in which the British public were raised to the castle walls and empowered to pass judgment on competitors for the sovereignty of their nation.’

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OUP Blog, 6th February 2017