Do They Mean Us? The Foreign Correspondents View of Brexit

Birmingham City University’s Centre for Brexit Studies and Bite-Sized Books are incredibly proud to announce the publication of the first book in their ‘Bite-Sized Brexit’ series. ‘Do They Mean Us? – The Foreign Correspondents’ View of Brexit’ explores the views of Brexit from a wide variety of influential voices. With seismic changes in UK politics, its relationships with the EU and the rest of the world, John Mair and Neil Fowler have commissioned and edited this collection of essays which reveal how some of the world’s most influential journalists view the referendum, the negotiations and the future for the UK.

The book, commissioned by John Mair, in a partnership between the Birmingham City University Centre for Brexit Studies, looks at the most important UK political decision for 40 years. The writers, all distinguished foreign correspondents based in the UK or elsewhere, have in many cases lived and worked in the UK for many years and they each discuss their experience and perspective of Brexit in 16 entertaining, and often hard-hitting, articles.

Read more about each contributor to the book and what their essay aims to discuss…

Diana Zimmermann – ZDF Correspondent in London
‘Variations on this one topic (Or explaining it all in five chapters)’
As a European foreign correspondent in a Britain facing leaving the EU, Diana Zimmermann more and more finds herself wondering: Do they mean us? Here she aims to understand what it’s all really about.

Angela Antetomasa – Television anchor and host for CNBC (Italian)
The Great Divide
It happened on a bus, on a cold November morning. That was when reality hit Angela Antetomaso. The great divide between Britain and Europe was now real, and she was stuck in the middle.

Bettina Schlutz – Die Welt
Did the British ever understand Europe? (Or was it always outside their imagination?)
‘Europe’ was always outside the imagination of the British – but it wasn’t their fault.

Tristan de Bourbon-Parme – Correspondent in the UK for the national newspapers in Belgium (La Libre Belgique), Switzerland (La Tribune de Genève and 24 Heures) and France (La Croix and L’Opinion)
A rational vote against a rational argument? (Or what was it really about?)
Tristan de Bourbon-Parme sensed the Leave vote approaching, but never thought it meant him. Here, he tells why he saw it as a social stand against the political and economic system shaped over the last 40 years.

Paole De Carelis – UK correspondent at Corriere della Sera, Italy
Citizens of somewhere or citizens of nowhere? (Or what are so-called British values?)
What does it mean to be British and what are so-called British values?

Catherine Lough – Freelance Journalist in London
Strangers on the shore? (Or how an Eastern European community in the UK is fearful for its future)
After the EU Referendum, the town of Boston on England’s east coast became famous for its high proportion of Brexit voters. Now the Eastern European community there is fearful for its future.

Torje Iversen – Norwegian freelancer living in London, who contributes to TV2 (Norway’s biggest commercial TV station)
A new identity, a new enemy (Or how no one saw it coming from the left and from the right)
Tonje Iversen remembers exactly where she was the day the UK voted to leave the EU –  with six politicians. None of them thought Brexit would happen. How wrong they were.

Jessica Buxbaum – Freelance Journalist in London
How the British and European press framed Brexit (Or how one group looks at matters a little differently to the other)
Jessica Buxbaum believes press coverage of Brexit shows that European media is mostly objective in its reporting while British journalists’ highly partisan framing of Brexit news is deepening the political divide in the United Kingdom.

Tessa Szyszkowitz – UK correspondent Austrian news magazine profi
The flipside of Brextremism (Or why journalists should get politically active sometimes)
Why journalists should get politically active sometimes and what it meant for me to co-found #HugABrit.

Philip Sime – Producer on the Raw Politics programme at Euronews NBC
The view from Brussels (Or how the so-called capital of Europe is an increasingly important diplomatic destination after Brexit)
Despite the Brexit regret felt in Brussels, the EU knew that in 2018 it had to drive a hard bargain with the UK if it were to survive.

Nathan Gallo – French Freelance Journalist
The UK facing Brexit: La perfide Albion lost in translation? (Or were 2016 Brexiteers today’s Gilets Jaunes?)
To French journalists, Brexit embodies how the United Kingdom has become a narrow-minded nation deluding itself about its role in the world. It has also stressed how UK politicians and media have overlooked a deep popular anger for years.

Mette Jørgensen Rodgers – UK correspondent for Danish newspaper Weekendavisen
Who are the ‘nutters’ now? (Or Euroscepticism in Denmark is not what they have made it out to be)
As a Danish correspondent, Mette Rodgers has always been warmly welcomed by British eurosceptics as a kindred soul, she says. Eurosceptisism in Denmark, however, is not what they have made it out to be.

Hanna Liubakova – Investigative journalist at the independent Belarusian TV channel, Belsat.
Brexit is just a sideshow. Poland is becoming more important (Or is Polexit on the horizon?)
From behind the iron curtain, the West was perceived a better place. For many in Poland, ‘the West’ now means moral nihilism. So does it now mean ‘Polexit’?

Nick Miller – Europe correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based in London.

The view from Down Under; “What’s in it for us?” (Or how Australia cannot understand what some see as an act of simple self-sabotage)
Australia has had its fair share of political turbulence in recent years, but many there cannot understand what some see as an act of simple self-sabotage.

Amit Roy – Europe correspondent of The Telegraph of India and editor at large at Eastern Eye
It’s not all cricket (Or how it has not been an easy story to report)
The British-Indian relationship runs deep, involves millions of people, and is worth billions of pounds, so it has not been an easy story to report.

Niaz Alam – London Bureau Chief of the Dhaka Tribune
Takeaway Brexit Masala – a Bangladeshi perspective (Or when they talk about us we think they usually mean themselves)
It is a testament of sorts to integration that calls by Boris Johnson and Priti Patel to “Save Our Curry Houses,” resonated far and wide as part of their populist call to vote Brexit.

Do They Mean Us? The Foreign Correspondents’ View of Brexit is available NOW in paperback and digitally on Kindle. Find out more here

Other books in the Bite-Sized series include The Case for Brexit, Keeping the Wheels on the Road – UK Auto Post Brexit and Will the Tory Party Ever Be the Same?, and are set to be published in early 2019.  


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