At first glance, there’s little to betray the village of Edington’s status as the lodestar of Brexit. Squeezed between the chalk hills of Salisbury Plain and Wiltshire’s clay downs to the north, Edington lacks a school, a shop, or an obvious center. It has a village pub, the Three Daggers, and an ornate priory church serving a population the 2011 census put at 734 souls.
It’s here, though, that historians broadly agree England was born. And England is key to understanding what’s happening in the U.K. today. For if anything is clear from its tortuous divorce from the European Union, the spectacle of an angry and divided nation in desperate need of direction is an English phenomenon, not a British one.Read More