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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > August 2016 > Europe’s biggest threat

Europe’s biggest threat

Without reform, the EU risks falling prey to a populist uprising

Britain’s referendum laid bare the extent to which society—across Europe—is deeply divided between those who have prospered from globalisation and those who feel left behind.

The result was shaped by a series of cleavages: young versus old, graduates versus early school leavers and cities versus towns. But the loudest shout of anger among those voting “Leave” came from the left behind, exploited by the unscrupulous populism of those who led the “Leave” campaign and who knowingly told a pack of lies in order to win.

It may be too late to save Britain from the disaster it has brought on itself; I hope not. But the priority for European mainstream parties and politicians now is to come to terms with the wider reality: that the European Union’s survival depends on them correctly interpreting the anger and extremism growing in their electorates.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s August issue: Rachel Sylvester argues that the EU referendum has started a re-alignment of British politics while Roger Scruton and Jay Elwes say that it has thrown Britain into a bout of self-examination with the fundamental question of who we are as a nation at its centre. In addition, Peter Mandelson says without reform the EU could fall victim to a populist uprising. Also in this issue: Philip Ball explores quantum entanglement, George Magnus looks at the political situation in Brazil ahead of the Olympics and Adam Mars-Jones unpicks the work of Steven Spielberg. James Cusick looks at the impact of the Chilcot report and Kathy Lette explains what the world would be like if she was in charge.
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