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England may not survive the end of the Union, says academic

The flags of England and the United Kingdom (Image: THOR CC BY 2.0).

When the Austro-Hungarian empire broke, it did not break in half, says Dr Elliot Bulmer in his article on the how the Northern Independence Party may suggest a possible splintering of England if the United Kingdom ends.

Writing in the National Scotland, Bulmer draws on the work of Scottish academic and political theorist Tom Nairn and the ideas that he explores in his famous book 'After Britain'.

The article points out that today there are more than a dozen European countries whose present territories fall within the boundaries of what was once Austria-Hungary.

Bulmer says that "some of those were just geographical names on the map in 1914, whose existence as independent states no-one could reasonably foresee."

Bulmer then asks the question: "What fragments would emerge from the dissolution of the United Kingdom?"

While the prospect of an independent Northumbria, as advanced by the Northern Independence Party, may currently seem far-fetched, and could well remain so; so too was the idea of an independent Slovakia.

Some of the states that emerged from the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia further fragmented over time.

What's to say that the same might not happen in the case of England?

Whatever may happen, Bulmer says, independence is now no longer of interest only to Scotland, Cymru, and Ireland, but also "to a peripheral English region".

Bulmer concludes by stating, "Unless England can rediscover a sense of its own nationhood, and can begin to imagine post-British futures, there is a chance that the end of Britain would also be the end of England."



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