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The road to BrexitA cultural perspective on British attitudes to Europe$
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Ina Habermann

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526145086

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526145093

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The dystopian nightmare of a European superstate: British fiction and the EU

The dystopian nightmare of a European superstate: British fiction and the EU

Chapter:
(p.143) 7 The dystopian nightmare of a European superstate: British fiction and the EU
Source:
The road to Brexit
Author(s):

Lisa Bischoff

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526145093.00016

This chapter discusses The Aachen Memorandum (AM) (1995) by historian Andrew Roberts as a paradigmatic example of one important branch of Eurosceptic novels. It analyses the novel as a dystopian narrative that depicts the European Union as a dys-EUtopia, set in a future where Britain has become an undesirable and unpleasant place that shares salient features with the dystopian societies of Nineteen Eighty-Four or Brave New World. The chapter argues that Robert’s influential novel takes an extremely Eurosceptic perspective, extrapolating the EU’s integration efforts and policies into a totalitarian means of control through constant surveillance, propaganda or the re-writing of history. The chapter illustrates how the Eurosceptic novel actively promotes national identity and sovereignty, drawing upon a storehouse of Eurosceptic tropes and repeating a certain nationalist version of British history that sets Britain against a EUropean Other. Expressing and disseminating widespread Eurosceptic fears, Roberts’s novel thus anticipates Brexit.

Keywords:   The Aachen Memorandum, Dys-EUtopia, BrexLit, Euroscepticism, Nationalism, Cultural identity, Stereotypes, National history, Sovereignty, Othering

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