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How Brexit Is Connected To Chicago Pizza & O'Hare

Pizza can lead to world-changing decisions

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Stopping for airport food isn't always a good decision, at least not without the proper guidance. Now comes word that political observers can trace last night's Brexit vote in Britain to a stop British Prime Minister David Cameron made four years ago at a pizzeria at O'Hare International Airport. The Financial Times reported that before that stop, Cameron remained unconvinced with the decision to go forward with Thursday's referendum.

The question asked British voters if they wanted to leave the European Union. Cameron received clarity — as most do with many decisions— only after a visit to a pizzeria. The meeting happened in May 2012 at O'Hare while attending the NATO Summit. Here's the pertinent passage from the FT:

But Mr Cameron, backed by William Hague, the former foreign secretary, concluded that the only way to hold the party together through the 2015 general election campaign was to promise an EU referendum.

The setting for that fateful decision: a pizza restaurant at Chicago O'Hare airport, where Mr Cameron met with Mr Hague and Ed Llewellyn, his trusted chief of staff and an old-hand in Brussels.

O'Hare counts one deep-dish pizzeria on site, noble Pizzeria Uno Express. Sure, there's a couple of flatbread pizza offerings throughout the airport, but none that wold qualify as a full-blown pizzeria. As Londoner Kim Janssen reported in the Tribune, Cameron's pizza preferences skew toward Pizza Express, the English chain which specializes in thin-crust Italian-style pies. Chef Rick Bayless has to be happy that Cameron and his crew weren't looking for a torta.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)

10000 W O'Hare Ave, Chicago, IL 60666 (773) 686-2200 Visit Website