I'm pondering a theory. Britons (innate make-doers) were never happier than during WWII and crave the need to Keep Calm And Carry On. Is hurtling towards a beans-hoarding, mustn't-grumble, darn-yer-socks sort of a no deal Brexit some sort of nation-level wish fulfillment?
This is v poor history: in reality, the rich fled the bombing, racketeering and petty crime were rife. But I think the cultural memory that “in the end, we were fine” is a crucial part of why UK has tended to be a poor European.
Seeing as some are reading this tweet as, err, "the Blitz was good", 'happier' was clearly not the apt adjective. To clarify: I'm asking whether the collective sense of unity & pride created by overcoming WWII's privations explains Britons' striking faith in their own stoicism.
Non-Brits I talk to routinely raise two things that strike them about Brexit Britain: 1) how odd it is for a country to inflict such privations on itself, 2) how prominently real & imagined memories of WWII feature in the UK's psyche & self-image. Valid to ask if there's a link.
You can add another layer with reference to @DEHEdgerton by arguing that what is really at stake here is the retrospective construction of self-sufficient island nation, dating to the postwar consolidation of British nation state.
WW2 was the first - involuntary- Brexit. It led to massive British relative decline and domination by the USA and within a few years a desperate need to reintegrate into the European economy. Of course it is remembered differently. See my blog Davidedgerton.org.