As an island, the United Kingdom has always experienced a degree of separation from the rest of the European Union.
For most of the past two centuries, the United Kingdom has been a standard-bearer for free trade. Given its history, this is hardly surprising: The country was once home to the Industrial Revolution and commanded an empire that spanned a quarter of the globe. Armed with the military force to assert and protect its wide reach and competitive economy, the United Kingdom forcefully persuaded other countries to open up their markets to free trade, laying the groundwork for today's globalized system of imports and exports. Now, 70 years after World War II brought the British Empire to an end, the United Kingdom's mighty manufacturing industry and international clout are shadows of what they once were. Yet much of the promise that the British economy boasted in its heyday remains....
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