'Get Brexit Done' and The Fragile Peace: English Nationalism, the Identity Politics of Brexit and the Impact on Transitional Justice in Northern Ireland
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100 years on from the partition of the island of Ireland in 1921 and the ‘Irish Question’ is just as contentious as ever. The Good Friday Agreement in 1998 put an end to violence that plagued the British enclave of Northern Ireland, seemingly settling tensions by creating structures for parity of recognition and cooperation. Yet, Brexit has brought these tensions back to the fore of British, and even European politics. Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, perhaps unwittingly, have pushed a project that is threatening not just peace and security in Northern Ireland, but the structural integrity of the United Kingdom as a whole, with nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales gaining increased popularity. This series of events has led to more questions than answers. This thesis aims to address the particular character of identity politics that has been developing for decades in Britain, specifically ‘English Nationalism’. This trend, responsible for the popularity of Farage and Johnson, can be seen as the manufacturer of Brexit. English Nationalism has both directly and indirectly had adverse side effects on Northern Ireland’s system of transitional justice between the Brexit vote in 2016 and the UK’s official withdrawal in January 2021. I will seek to define the ways in which this happened by firstly defining English Nationalism in its complexities and investigating how this has affected the Peace Process both through and beyond Brexit.