Britain’s middle-class Brexit Anxiety Disorder

LONDON — Remainers: getting angry isn’t working. It’s time to see a shrink.

Visit any middle-class gathering this summer and even the vaguest hint of Brexit sympathy is likely to elicit a swift and angry response. “It’s broken the social contract,” one senior City lawyer told this author over wine one evening, in a broadside aimed squarely at those who voted for Brexit. “We paid all the taxes which propped them up. Now they’ve gone and f****d us. So, f**k them. We’ll be fine, but they’re screwed.”

At another gathering, at the embassy of a major EU27 country, senior figures laughed, joked and despaired at the stupidity of the country voting to leave. Brexit was like a cancerous tumor which had to be surgically removed from the EU, one prominent official said. Few demurred.

In Westminster’s bars and restaurants, MPs often talk of the “catastrophe,” “humiliation” and “nightmare” being inflicted on them.

At their heart are questions of identity, power and uncertainty.

For Britain’s pro-European middle classes, Brexit is akin to a psychological trauma which has left many unable to behave rationally, according to two leading experts. Far from being hyper-rational observers concerned only with what is economically sensible, many have morphed into the “Remainiacs” of Brexiteer disdain.

They are acting no differently to what psychologists would expect from those suffering from chronic anxiety caused by loss of control and insecurity, Dr. Philip Corr, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at the University of London, and Dr. Simon Stuart, a clinical psychologist, told POLITICO.

In such circumstances, Corr and Stuart said, patients can become prone to anger,

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