It is best not just for Britain but for the EU that we part ways


Originally published in The Spectator

A few thoughts on today’s events.

First – it wasn’t working. With each year it was becoming more and more obvious that Britain and the EU wanted different things. Many (though not all) continental countries seem happy with a political union which pools their national sovereignty. There may be virtues in that, problems in it or both.  But it was never a desire of the British people. Last night demonstrated that. So it is best not just for Britain but for the EU that we part ways. If we had not then we would have continued to be a hindrance and drag on our partners during the next stages of their political development.

Secondly – I hope that there can be a widespread, indeed unanimous, agreement that we wish the rest of the EU exceptionally well. The political union contains some of our closest friends and allies and it is not just in our interests, but should be our desire, to see our friends thrive, prosper and find ways through the challenges ahead. With the right political leadership they may yet find such a way. Who couldn’t look forward to continuing to work with them, trade with them and learn from them – but as separate sovereign entities rather than as unhappy cohabitees…

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