"In a national referendum in 1975, the British public voted to remain part of Europe. At that point, it was hoped that the national schizophrenia about being in or out would end. Forty years later, the British face another referendum, likely to be on the very same topic. As the UK approaches this historic moment, its constitution and its politics are in the process of enormous transformation, as EU membership is challenged in the mainstream and by vocal, populist, anti-EU newcomers. The need to understand why membership of the European Union causes the British so much difficulty as a people and a nation is never more important. Britain and Europe: a Biography explains how Britain joined Europe and why the British have never felt comfortable there. In a debate as vexed as it is important, and so uninformed by an impartial historical context, Britain and Europe: a Biography explains why we are where we are and argues that only by grasping this story will the British people be able to escape from being imprisoned in the past. "
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