Date of Graduation

Winter 12-14-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS)


College of Arts and Sciences


International Studies

First Advisor

Olivier Bercault


The EU Referendum of June 2016 marked a watershed moment for the United Kingdom, as it sought to once again reassert its sovereignty and retake its place in the world as an independent state, free from European Union infringement. The British are usually seen as the cussid ones in Europe, stubbornly holding on to their principles and traditions of sovereignty. But why is that? Carefully tracing UK history, particularly from the end of the Second World War to the present day, it becomes understandable why the result of the 2016 referendum should not be quite a surprise. Studying events in Britain post-1945 that helped shape British understanding of sovereignty, framing Brexit as it relates to sovereignty, and a brief analysis of media coverage, gives us a view as to why Britain voted for Brexit and why the British are uniquely so in Europe.