Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten waves to well-wishers as he boards the Royal Yacht Britannia accompanied by Britain’s Prince Charles on July 1, 1997. Some say the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty marked the end of the British Empire, but Sathnam Sanghera disagrees. Photo: AFP
Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten waves to well-wishers as he boards the Royal Yacht Britannia accompanied by Britain’s Prince Charles on July 1, 1997. Some say the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty marked the end of the British Empire, but Sathnam Sanghera disagrees. Photo: AFP

Brexit Britain, where amnesia and nostalgia about empire coexist, and shape popular opinion about the country’s past and its future – a history author’s take

  • Born into the racism of the English Midlands, Sathnam Sanghera offers a different perspective on modern British history, viewing it through the prism of empire
  • He notes both imperial amnesia – ‘We were the biggest drug pusher’, he says of the opium wars – and imperial nostalgia, from which sprang Britain’s EU exit

Topic |   Hong Kong International Literary Festival
Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten waves to well-wishers as he boards the Royal Yacht Britannia accompanied by Britain’s Prince Charles on July 1, 1997. Some say the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty marked the end of the British Empire, but Sathnam Sanghera disagrees. Photo: AFP
Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten waves to well-wishers as he boards the Royal Yacht Britannia accompanied by Britain’s Prince Charles on July 1, 1997. Some say the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty marked the end of the British Empire, but Sathnam Sanghera disagrees. Photo: AFP
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