I found the referendum a rather ugly and shocking affair, but there must be a major silver lining for any U.K. citizen, no matter what box they ticked. There were wide divisions between Britons and disenfranchised towns highlighted in many parts of the country, but that surely cannot be swept under the carpet now? I have a feeling a vote to remain in the EU would have meant business as usual.
We now have a Conservative politician as prime minister that sounds like she is a member of the opposition Labour Party with her promises of a "country that works for everyone". In the words of The Economist last month, "the new divide in rich countries is not between left and right but between open and closed."
Jonathan Portes, director of the U.K.'s National Institute of Economic and Social Research, is quick to point out that what we have from Prime Minister Theresa May is "just words." But he is hopeful it might mean a change from the "gimmicky policies" of previous leaders.
"The U.K. has not done well in developing some parts of the country, specifically some coastal towns and northern towns," he told CNBC via telephone. "In the Autumn Statement we'll see that intent."
Summers may have been vague in his article; he may have talked of policies that any government in the EU is able to achieve in the current setup. But, if nationalism does fully reemergence in the coming years, I would like to think that it will be in its most "responsible" of forms.
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