Whatever Became of the British?
Version of Record online: 13 DEC 2013
© The Author 2013. The Political Quarterly © The Political Quarterly Publishing Co. Ltd. 2013
The Political Quarterly
Volume 84, Issue 4, pages 470–477, October-December 2013
How to Cite
McCRONE, D. (2013), Whatever Became of the British?. The Political Quarterly, 84: 470–477. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-923X.2013.12045.x
- Issue online: 13 DEC 2013
- Version of Record online: 13 DEC 2013
- national identity;
- constitutional change;
Much of the debate about ‘being British’ is driven by the politics of the constitutional future of the United Kingdom. This has led to assertions about the declining impact of Britishness, and how, in the interests of the Union, it might be revived. Data from British and Scottish Social Attitudes surveys show that ‘Britain’ remains an important and meaningful frame of reference, even though people in England and Scotland may not define their prime national identity as British. The relationship between national identity and constitutional preferences is complex. Being ‘strongly Scottish’ is a weak predictor of constitutional preferences because almost all Scots are at the ‘strong’ end of the Scottish scale, whereas saying you are ‘British’ (or not) is a better guide. It is not a matter of choosing to be Scottish or English over being British, but recognising the complexity and inter-relationships of diverse territorial identities.