A recent poll conducted by ORB International put British support for withdrawing from European Union membership at 52%. This figure fluctuates from month to month, with June-September showing a consistent lead for staying in and current support for remaining in the EU at 48%. With such a close race to the finish and a referendum on membership around the corner in 2017, it seems remarkable that the continental press is paying so little attention to what’s going on. The political ramifications of ‘Brexit’ – aka British exit – could be more far reaching than even the migration crisis in terms of its impact on Europe’s future. Read the rest of this entry »
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Husein, recently criticised a columnist in a British tabloid for ‘inciting racial hatred’ and referring to migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing as ‘cockroaches.’  The tabloid in question has the widest readership of any paper in Britain. The High Commissioner went on to compare the xenophobia in elements of the British press as akin to that found in propaganda produced by Rwandan media outlets prior to the genocide in the 1990’s. Self-evidently such sentiment has no place in any society that professes to be civilised, however the increasing confidence and impunity with which those not simply on the fringes of the political spectrum, but the mainstream as well, attack migrants is a worrying development for all in Europe. Our history as a continent is an illustration of where divisive, anti-migrant and nationalist rhetoric can lead. The modern migrant crisis, with 1 in every 122 people displaced due to war, environmental pressures and state oppression, is a situation unprecedented in the years since the formation of the European Union.  This article will consider the potential havoc the invocation of resurgent nationalist identities across the continent, partially in response to this crisis, could cause to one of the biggest political projects in the modern world: the European Union.