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...But they were proved wrong. As the results proved, even their leaders did not know what the people they were representing were thinking. The UK has always viewed itself apart from Europe, participating ‘reluctantly’ in continental affairs but always maintaining a separate identity. The geography of the island has helped foster that mentality of insulation and apartness. Small is big and hard to comprehend. National politics in the UK have always capitalised on this, and used it to rally public opinion and support. Thus, euro scepticism is very much part of the nation’s character and not a new phenomenon. This impulse, however, was subsumed to national interest. The noisy but small UK Independence Party and a disgruntled euro sceptic section of the Conservative Party were hardly rocking the boat. So why did it happen? ...TOI on July 11, 2016, 6:07 p.m.