SINGAPORE (Apr 1): The UK is teetering towards Brexit. No one knows what will happen over the next few months. Yet around one-third of British voters support a “no-deal” departure from the European Union (EU), which risks inflicting an economic disaster on the country.

Many of these “no-deal” Brexit supporters are older and modestly educated, and live in economically depressed semi-urban communities and small towns, which tend to be concentrated in northern England. Although they are anxious about the steady deterioration in their economic prospects, studies suggest that trade or even immigration are not their only concerns. Brexiteers also resent their loss of control over policy, first to a distant national capital full of well-educated global elites and, in recent years, to an even more remote EU.

EU-mandated immigration rules are just the most obvious sign of their powerlessness. Brexit supporters voted to leave the EU in order to “take back control”. Unfortunately, Brexit, in whatever form it takes, may not give them what they want, fuelling further resentment. Can anything be done to quell their anger?

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