John Harris

Journalist & Author

England’s rebel spirit is rising – and it wants a no-deal Brexit | John Harris

In the face of political stasis, the seductive myth of Britain standing alone against its oppressors is taking hold

In my innocence, I didn’t expect many people to be in a central Portsmouth Wetherspoons at 10.30am on a Friday morning. But there they all were, in their droves: passionate supporters of Brexit, there to hear the pub chain’s founder and chairman, Tim Martin, make the case for Britain leaving the EU with no deal. Martin has been on the road since November, with the aim of visiting at least 100 of his boozers. The day we crossed paths, he was traversing the south coast, moving on to Southampton and Weymouth: given that it has whetted the appetite of what remains of the country’s local press, drawn large crowds and shifted huge amounts of food and drink, the whole thing looks to have been an unlikely success.

Related: Why are people cheering for no deal? Because they’re thinking about it the wrong way | Anand Menon

Related: A citizens’ assembly is now the only way to break the Brexit deadlock | Gordon Brown

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