New Global Studies, 13(3) pp 321-334

2016 is likely to be recalled – in Europe, at least – as a temporal bordering, after a majority in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The “Brexit” referendum result has been pinned on the rise of populist politics and the revenge of so-called “left behind” places. Regardless of reasons, the referendum left the UK with fraught politics and protracted negotiations, especially over how to re-border with a Europe that has held the dismantling of borders at the heart of its philosophical project. While Brexit has already become a byword, an earlier referendum on British borders has long slipped from international note. In 1997, a majority in Wales (one of the four constituent countries of the UK), voted for devolution from central government in Westminster. Like the Brexit referendum twenty years later, the majority in favor of devolution was slight, exposing uneasy fractures and internal cleavages as it opened fresh questions of governance and geography. By attending to a small country at the periphery of Europe, we seek to destabilize the assumption of shared markers of global bordering (1989, 2001), revealing instead the palimpsests of identity and territoriality across which re-made borders run “all over.”