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The fate of the ‘Anywhere’ people They have found a new way to reject their national identity

Support the EU? Support decolonisation? Same difference. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Support the EU? Support decolonisation? Same difference. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)


June 23, 2021   6 mins

The Brexit strain in our political bloodstream has mutated almost beyond recognition. It seems strange now that, for years, it dominated everything. It was going to destroy the economy, create mass unemployment, explode the Union, smash the constitution and remake the political system.

But its latest variants are not very contagious and cause little harm to the body politic. The National Farmers’ Union tries to revive Project Fear with stories of vast herds of Australian cattle, while Oxford dons insist that Rhodes Must Fall — for the Empire, so some of them insist, is the key to Brexit. One of their most vocal members, indeed, co-authored a book explaining that Brexit was due to “a nostalgia for a time when life was easier, and Britain could simply get rich by killing people of colour and stealing their stuff”. So here is the anti-Brexit cause boiled down to its primitive components: vested interest, and visceral alienation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the Brexit battle has quickly receded into memory. Was it really only five years ago? We are already commemorating the date: “Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars / And say ‘These wounds I had on Brexit day’.” In 2016, leaving the EU seemed a British eccentricity, whether to be praised or blamed. On one hand, it was the product of domestic politics: David Cameron’s miscalculated effort to silence the Tory Eurosceptics. On the other, it was the long-term result of a peculiar national history: having suffered less than elsewhere from the wars, revolutions and foreign occupations of the 20th century, the British were far less attached to the “vision” of a United Europe, and hence far less patient with its failings.

But five years on, Brexit seems to be one symptom of broader changes in Europe and the world. At a political level, it was a popular reaction not only against globalisation, but against the political manifestation of globalisation, in which, for a generation, national governments had ceded increasing powers to international bodies. Peter Mair, in his already classic work Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy, called it the “withdrawal of the elites” into supranational institutions, in which the “horizontal” approval of other politicians outweighed the “vertical” support of the electorate.

This was the catalyst for “taking back control”. In many, if not all, democratic countries, there have been manifestations of this desire, invariably messy and disruptive. Brexit turned out to be a relatively quick and clean solution, compared, at least, with the turmoil in the United States or the political paralysis in France.

At the international level, the brief period of Western (above all American) hegemony after the fall of the Soviet Union was sharply ended by the failures in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Libya. This was underlined by the massive presence of China, and more particularly by the sudden collapse of optimistic expectations that China could be integrated into an international order created and still led by the West. For critics of Brexit, leaving the EU inevitably weakens Britain and undermines Western solidarity at the worst moment. At best, they argue, we shall be isolated, and at the mercy of great power blocs, whereas European membership gave us protection and a voice within a mighty organisation that could maintain itself against the United States and China. We shall see.

But at the moment, things look different. The EU is embarrassingly marginal in world politics. Most of its members do not want, and are not powerful enough, to play “the great game”, and so the EU itself is only a simulacrum of the Great Power. It has a flag, but not an army; and indeed, not a policy. Its dominant member, Germany, is increasingly dependent on China for its exports, and on Russia for its energy.

The EU cannot be relied on to play the smallest role in areas of danger: the Middle East, the Pacific or Africa. France’s failing attempt to hold back Islamist onslaught in central Africa depends on a few RAF helicopters. Deterring Russian adventures in the Baltic depends on a handful of British units in their traditional “tripwire” role. Should we not be asking ourselves why we are doing this, for an EU that is feckless and hostile, and whose main endeavour seems to be causing trouble in Northern Ireland?

And then there was the pandemic, a sudden materialisation of the dangers of the 21st century: the perils of globalisation; the ruthless irresponsibility of China; the absence of effective global organisations; the complacency of the West 
 But nowhere so far have the political consequences been more severe than in the EU. It would be tedious and unnecessary to rehearse its failings. Suffice it to say that it proved worse than irrelevant in the sort of situation that its defenders commonly used to justify it: a crisis that “crosses frontiers”.

In this case, the EU’s member states had to restore frontiers and rely on themselves for vaccines. The glorious vision of a “sovereign Europe” has faded. Even Emmanuel Macron, the only remaining federalist champion of substance, relies on various permutations of Project Fear. Like the old Austro-Hungarian empire, the EU continues because it cannot be either reformed or replaced. But in neither case did that prevent its members from quarrelling.

What has become of the 48.1% of the British electorate — 16 million people — who voted in 2016 to Remain? The largest group (43% of them), according to Lord Ashcroft’s exit poll on 23 June, feared the economic consequences of leaving, and another 20% feared national isolation. Only 9% felt strong attachment to the European vision. As the fears of post-Brexit disaster have evaporated, and the EU has shown itself increasingly accident-prone and intransigent, support for the EU logically declines, as recent polls suggest.

Moreover, the Remain vote is dispersed among several parties. Only one of these remains politically formidable and openly “Rejoin”: the Scottish National Party. That it should cling to the EU is understandable: only EU membership (whatever the cost) makes independence feasible. But Europhilia is a waning asset. Every blunder or failing in Brussels must make the SNP’s strategy less attractive to rational voters. Its failure to win even 50% of voters in the recent Scottish elections is eloquent.

The same logic applies to Northern Ireland: unity with the South might have seemed attractive to middle-of-the-road voters as long as Britain and Ireland were both EU members. However justifiably annoyed Northern voters might be with both London and Brussels, for Northern Ireland to break fully from its main economic partner would be far worse. If the Protocol is either made to work or — which seems increasingly likely — junked, then unification will more than ever seem something that many Irish people on both sides of the border aspire to, as long as it is not actually imminent.

So that leaves the rather small number of British voters — and the even smaller number of English voters — who remain unreservedly attached to, or at least nostalgic about, the EU. Can anyone imagine a serious politician sounding a clarion call for Britain to return to the fold? The most they seem to be aiming for is to keep the maximum degree of linkage. Keeping Australian beef out, while allowing Irish beef in. Trying to retain regulatory alignment, presumably so as to maintain Britain as a lucrative market for EU goods (hence our huge trade deficit) while hampering trade with other continents.

Other than that, we have the Omega Variant of Brexit — the culture wars. How many of the 150 or so Oxford dons who are boycotting Oriel College because of its failure to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes do you think voted “Leave”? I suppose the culture wars could be dismissed as froth, as perhaps in a few years they will be: “Because,” as Burke wrote, “half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink
 pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”

Nevertheless, as one who belongs to the Acrididea order myself, I do find it interesting. George Orwell observed 80 years ago that “England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality” — though today I think he might have to add America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. The “decolonisation” movement in all its ramifications seems to be a rejection of national identity, or at least of those identities which are stigmatised as pillars of an oppressive world system — a view that manages to leave genuine oppressors in the clear.

Orwell went on to criticise the “negative, querulous attitude
 the irresponsible carping of people who have never been and never expect to be in a position of power”. Except that now, they have considerable power within our cultural institutions. Is this the fate of the Anywhere people? Aspiring to be citizens of the world, but discontented wherever they live? Supporting the EU. Supporting “decolonisation”. La lutte continue!


Professor Robert Tombs is a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, and the author of The English and Their History


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J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

A very interesting and educational essay that helps me (an American) understand the UK’s current attitude to Brexit and some of the political divisions remaining within the country. Really outstanding.
I ought to commit to memory: “half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink
 pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”

Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I call them cicadas, and they do make a lot of noise on social media.

David Bell
David Bell
2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

Cicadas live only 3 days after their emergence from years of hibernation. The human versions stick around longer, all the while chirupping remain, rejoin, remain…

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yup, I’m memorising that one too

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

But be wary of typing the quote into a comment box of The Times online. It’s algorithms are incapable of distinguishing between a chink from grasshoppers and a derogatory name for a person of Chinese ethnicity. Your comment will be rejected for breaching community standards.

William Cameron
William Cameron
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

Not breaching community standards- more offending self regarding snowflake moderators.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

And if those grasshoppers are synonymous with today’s noisy woke they also are members of the LLM party, (Lizard’s Lives Matter).

Daniel Smallwood
Daniel Smallwood
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Agreed. I particularly enjoyed the observation that many people, both north and south of the Irish border, aspire to a united Ireland only on the basis that it’s not actually going to happen.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
3 years ago

“David Cameron’s miscalculated effort to silence the Tory Eurosceptics”
I’ve never understood this, even if it might contain some grain of truth. That, some (reviled Tory), politicians had more of a finger on the pulse, supposedly those that were aloof, disconnected, out of touch, with the ordinary proles. For me, it demonstrated, in spades, the contempt the ruling class have for the ruled “We don’t care what you want, we know better”, that this was most prominent within the Labour Party, or Lib Dem’s (who still, disgustedly, revoltingly, don’t get it) should be a source of profound shame for those parties.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

I find the Tories at present singularly out of touch too.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

This is not a criticism, but out of interest, in which ways?

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

I think they have a different range of choices from many people today; most are probably based on money (I write as someone who can remember not being able to afford broccoli but can now choose a river cruise for a holiday) but would include such things as education for our children, for a minority of politicians it seems as if lying is a choice and these would not understand people for whom it is not a choice. Basically both socially and financially they are part of a minority but are trying to look after the majority.
I didn’t interpret your comment as criticism!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Or maybe Cameron thought that there was a legitimate demand for a referendum

Frederick B
Frederick B
3 years ago

Anne Widecombe once commented that Cameron was the most “precipitate” man she had ever encountered. In other words he lost patience with all the endless argy-bargy about the EU and thought that he would “put it to bed for a generation” as he is said to have remarked. So he plunged and lost. Another example of his “precipitateness” being his “liberation” of Libya with consequences which go on and on.

Last edited 3 years ago by Frederick B
Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Find any contemporary politicians anywhere, on either side of the Atlantic, who are IN touch with anything except their own power, status, and donors.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago
Reply to  Ray Zacek

The Common Sense group of Tory MP’s.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

Cameron might have been trying to silence the Eurosceptics, but what he was really doing was buying allegiance from the majority of Tory MPs who were Europhiles by promising to win the referendum and put an end to the argument.

Having lost the referendum,that is why he could no longer remain PM: he had blown all his political capital on a broken promise to his own Party, and his position was untenable.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

That makes sense. Why otherwise would a politician so divest of principle and enamoured of office resign, when all along he’d said he wouldn’t?

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
3 years ago

I’m not a remainer or a brexiteer but this often repeated notion of David Cameron calling the referendum to quell Ukip or tory euro sceptics is rather fanciful. He never for one moment thought he would lose. A win however would mean there was now no reason to reject further EU integration, the electorate have in effect given their consent. I imagine the likes of Peter Mandelson and Nick Clegg thought along the same lines.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew Raiment
Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

That’s a really good point Andrew. It is clear that had the result been Remain, we’d be in the Euro by now.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
3 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Disagree with you on that one point, Jon. The forces to keep ÂŁ sterling would have been even greater than “Remain” (ironically, including some powerful Remainers as well). Other that, yes, the stealth project would continue, rebates, vetoes all watered down and ultimately ditched over time.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

The defection of Carswell then Reckless, both of them having the courage and sense of honour to trigger by-elections, which they won, left Cameron in no doubt that UKIP was starting to eat the Tories alive. He had no choice but to offer an In/Out referendum in the same way Major had to call a “put up or shut up” leadership contest. As you know, the In/Out referendum idea was first floated by Nick Clegg. What lost Cameron the referendum was his trademark laziness and complacency. Thank God.

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

Exactly- it was also a very useful way of garnering votes in the 2015 election. His mistaken (and the rest’s) was that they thought they could scare the plebs into submission. I thought Obama’s appearance was the nail in the coffin really.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Also Cameron never expected to win the election. He could promise a referendum knowing the LibDems would block it.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

It was significant to me when the EU sent Cameron back humiliated with his tail between his legs and his head patted like a naughty lap dog after trying to negotiate some reasonable improvements for our membership, before the referendum. The EU for all its arrogance and aloofness also should recognise their contribution to the Brexit result. All of this EU arrogance became blindingly obvious to many people in the UK at the time. Had they treated Cameron and the UK with some respect and made some reasonable concessions the result could have been different. I think that was a major mistake by the EU. Then we got both the leave and remain campaigns – they were both as equally patronising and insulting to ordinary folk as each other – absolutely disgusting and such a turn off. The elites do indeed look down their noses at us plebs. Interesting point is that the leavers including Johnson never though they would win (let alone Cameron never thought he might lose). The vacuum from Boris coupled with the Gove stab in the back during the week directly after the referendum result was proof to me of this. It allowed the Maybot into power, and all the pain of her dreadful premiership we went through afterwards (which we are still suffering from with the NI protocol). Neither Johnson or Cameron had a proper strategy.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago

The anywhere people in Britain aren’t really anywhere people. They know one language, English, they read one type of newspaper, English language, they visit only English language websites. Many of these sources would be American.

The decolonisation fad is an American fad.

Last edited 3 years ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

Britons are much better at languages and much more interested in learning them than the clichĂ© you are speaking of suggests. At least for my generation (2nd generation postwar), a great deal of emphasis was put on learning modern languages at school. At that time, that meant Spanish, French and German. These days, I think Chinese and Russian are being taught and German is waning in popularity…but in any case, the characterisation of an island full of monolingual oiks is wrong.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

School lessons on language don’t last. In Holland where I come from English is widely spoken in a way no English person speaks a second language. How many French or German newspapers are sold in London to English people.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

I would say the Netherlands is quite an exception on the English front. School lessons do last: I learned German at school and was so enthusiastic, I went on to study it as part of my degree and then moved to Austria where I have been speaking German ever since. My German is now as advanced as it can be without being a mother tongue speaker. I know many other Britons like me. See also the number of degrees in foreign languages offered by British universities.
Re: sales of French/German newspapers in London to English speaking people. Probably not many but that is not necessarily indicative of the general level of enthusiasm for foreign languages on the part of Britons.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You are in no way representative of the average English person. I’m not arguing about the general English use of languages anyway but existance of the the supposed anywhere people.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

I may not be like all Britons (no country is absolutely homogenous) but I and my acquaintances prove that your generalisation is on a shaky footing.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I too learned French and Spanish at school and, as a singer, have since learned a certain amount of German and Italian. Several of my school contemporaries studied French and/ or Spanish at university and are now living abroad. I took the Music route. Both were approved of career paths at my girls’ grammar school; and herein lies the rub. In the post war generations (my father, at the equivalent boys’ school, did Latin and French), only grammar school pupils studied languages. Years later, for people of my generation at least, the eleven-plus split almost exactly matched the Brexit split.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Coming from a working class area, the only person I know who can speak a language other than English is a relative who moved to Holland. Nobody else I know is bilingual

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

But Katherine, we who read your posts know you are an exceptional person, and the normals can never be equated to your abilities.
I happen to have Zero facilities for language at all – I studied 4 languages and lived in countries those were spoken, and just never could get them… but then I am highly dyslexic and without spell checker could not even write English you could understand.

David B
David B
3 years ago

I’ll bet nobody who isn’t Dutch buys Dutch language newspapers.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
3 years ago

Holland is unusual for the amazing fluency in English of such a large proportion of the population. I admit, with shame, that more than once, when in France many years ago, I have gone looking for a Dutch registration plate in order to ask for help with translation, knowing that the chances were they would be fluent in English and French! (They would also be exceptionally friendly and helpful).
Having complimented your countrymen in this way, I venture to say that the reason for this is that Dutch itself is not spoken widely outside Holland. Nowadays it seems almost impossible to go anywhere, even in France, that English is not spoken and that dampens down motivation for learning.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

I speak sub-fluent French, and intermediary Spanish and German, and can generally read newspapers in e.g. Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian, and I suspect Dutch too. My English daughter speaks Arabic just as well well as any Dutch person speaks English.

Last edited 3 years ago by Drahcir Nevarc
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

I feel an absolute failure just reading your post. In my life I have had very great exposure to languages, living in foreign countries (what ever those are as I had the choice of 5 citizenships to chose from over my life) and studying foreign languages was about as successful at getting me to learn them as it would be to teach a dog.

I know for a fact that the facility to take on language has a genetic component, as say music does. My brother was a musician and picked up languages. Maybe some of us just cannot get them, wile Burton was said to speak 90 languages and dialects! And he could learn one in a couple weeks.

Maybe the Dutch have a gene for language. Some people do – take Morocco, say, the street kids speak a smattering of all the main Western langues, even before the internet, like they just pick it up from the air in the Medina as necessary for their hustle.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I have always been interested in languages and respect what you say. I would like you idea to be true but I struggle with it. English is now the language of the world – maybe not in numbers but in internationality.
When I was last in Germany I was checking in at a hotel (in English though I speak fluent German) and beside me was another couple checking in – they were Italian. Instantaneously they spoke to the hotel receptionist in English and were answered in English. This makes the average English person a little lazy.
When someone checks into a hotel in London, English must be spoken. Interestingly, there is somewhere very close where this rule is often (not always) broken. If you check into a hotel in Wales, you are often greeted in Welsh until you look embarrassed and confused and then the switch to English follows.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago

I studied French and German (translating and interpreting), graduating with First Class Honours, worked as an interpreter for 5 years, went into industry and started and ran 3 businesses in France (once) and Germany (twice) for blue chip companies. I enjoy Focus magazine (Germany) in my free time despite my day job now being as a translator.

I agree with Katherine that the Dutch are an exception when it comes to mastery of English but the notion that most Germans have any great command of English is a myth. As for the French, the typical command of English is borderline non existent. That said, I lament the decline in the teaching of modern languages in British schools. They are seen as “hard”, and therefore shunned in favour of grade boosting easier subjects.

During the Brexit campaign (I was very active on the Leave side) I used to enjoy pointing out to Remainers who would deride me for my supposed cretinous monolingualism that I was in fact professionally trilingual.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
3 years ago

Indeed. As a Brexit-voting UK immigrant and speaker of four languages, I find myself laughing at monolingual Anywheres.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Drahcir Nevarc

Well, us monolings laugh at you for your many flaws too.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

When it comes to Asiatic and African langauges , Britain has always led the way, hence SOAS, Royal Asiatic Society ,etc. No other nation has taught Latin and Greek so extensively. Grecians discovered the connection to Sanskrit in the 18th century and learnt Persian the language of the Moghul Empire.Those who knew Hindi ( related to Greek )were able to converse with Dravidian speakers who knew this language.
Memberships of the ICS required fluency in 4 Indian languages at least.An uncle a WW2 Commando Officer spoke Urdu, Cantonese , Japanese, and some Tamil and Malay. Malay Civil service often spoke Ghurkhali ( from time in Burma ) Cantonese, Malay, Tamil plus some Punjabi and Urdu .
If one reads the book ” The Great Game ” there are many descriptions of British Officers travelling through India and Central Asia of which the most famous was Richard Burton.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Before my grandfather could join the Indian Police in ~1890, he had to pass exams in three languages, learnt from munshis, of which I know one was Persian. He would have learnt some Hindi and Bengali as an infant. Posted to an obscure part of north-eastern India, he learned the local language (Mizo) and then wrote a text book for it.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
3 years ago

Somewhat sweeping and just a tad patronising perhaps?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

“The decolonisation fad is an American fad”

No, it is British. White self loathing is a course very much promoted by the American Marxist/Liberals, but Britain has carried it much longer, as Orwell pointed out, and as all the British Universities began teaching that in the 1980s, and the British schools in the 1990s. (2000s for USA)

In USA it really took Obama for the cultural Marxists to gain real foothold. That they now excel at it more than the British is typical though. CRT and statue pulling and taking the knee and all – – but self loathing as taught by the elites predates it greatly in Britain, and also in Britain it is permeated into virtually every White person to some degree, wile in USA it just is taken in by only about 1/3 of the White people (UK, 90%)

Bob Pugh
Bob Pugh
2 years ago

I suspect a lot don’t only read one type of Newspaper they they only read one Newspaper, the Guardian, or take its re-hashed content from the BBC.

Hugh Oxford
Hugh Oxford
3 years ago

The neoliberal corporate globalists are doubling down since the Brexit vote, ramping up cancel culture, gender, decolonise, woke, diversity etc, but now with a punitive dimension.
The message is clear. You can checkout. But you can’t leave. We will win. We will dissolve your borders, your identity, your reality, your culture, your nation states, your traditions, your heroes, your past, your Christian faith: we will silence you and control you.
We own your institutions: from your universities to your museums, from your charities to your high streets, from your police to your courts. We own your tech, your voice.
You may have protested against global corporate hegemony in the Brexit vote, but we will still atomise you, demoralise you and ultimately own you anyway. And we will humiliate you in the process.

Last edited 3 years ago by Hugh Oxford
D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Oxford

Trying to uptick you, but can’t. Sorry.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

“Like the old Austro-Hungarian empire, the EU continues because it cannot be either reformed or replaced. But in neither case did that prevent its members from quarrelling.”
Ah, yes. The classic conversation about the EU:
A: “We need the EU – look at the mess nationalism got us into in the 20th century.”
B: “Look at the mess that the collapse of an inherently unstable multiethnic empire got us into in the 20th century.”
Checkmate.
Perhaps it is the fate of the countries of mainland Europe to shuttle between these two states – from quarrelling (or even warring) nation-states to unstable unions and back again?
Also – perhaps the rise of what is mostly called “populism” these days is kind of a reprise of the nationalist movements that led to the revolution of 1848 and the subsequent period of centralisation of power (then: in Vienna, now: in Brussels) and absolutism. This did not stop, but merely postponed the final collapse.

Last edited 3 years ago by Katharine Eyre
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Of course the U.K. is also an unstable multi national state so careful what you wish for.

The EU is relatively popular, although the recent LGBT imperialism might change that.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago

The UK isn’t immune to collapse, but has displayed a far greater degree of stability than the majority of the unions or empires on the continent.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

During the 1920s and 1930s the UK political disagreements did not result in murders, it did most of Europe. The General strike iof 1926 and Jarrow March did not result in deaths. E Bevin fought and defeated the communists in the TGWU and most people ridiculed Moseley; PJ Wodehouse him mocked as Spode who owned a lingerie shop and callled his movement ” The Blackshorts “. Hardly any communists were elected as MPs. The Labour Party was dominated by tough patriotic Baptists Preachers like Bevin, not communists wanting class war. Most Conservatives considered Moseley an utterly frightful attention seeker.
As a conseqience the UK does not fear the past. The EU is based upon fear of the past; terrified that under stress democracy will collapse as it did from 1919 to 1939 in many countries.

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Could I offer an alternative perspective? The EU has never been empowered to deal with public health crises, therefore it is disingenous to use the pandemic as an example of its failings. In truth, the reinstatement of itnernal borders didn’t look very different to the American response – so if the EU failed to coordinate a cross-border response, so did the Federal Governemtn of the US.
A better issue around which to explore the relevance or otherwise would be the current battle over the soul of the Internet. I think there is clear evidence that platforms are using their dominant positions, not only to bully product markets, but worse – to steer the public debate in ways that benefit their business model and whatever ideologies are dear to their corporate culture.
Some people were prepared to look the other way when they silenced the democratically elected leader of the free world, because Orange Man Bad, but the rest of us were genuinely alarmed – all distaste for Mr Trump aside.
Now the question is what can be done about it. It is becoming increasingly clear that the impulse to act is coming from the EU right now, Congress is following and it is unclear to what extent the White House can act sufficiently independently of its Tech backers to help steer this process.
Whether the EU will ultimately succeed in this response remains to be seen, but one thing is crystal clear: In the battle against Big Tech, post-EU Britain is exactly what the Remoaners predicted it would become – a toothless minnow on the sidelines of this century-defining debate.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I don’t really get how this post responds to mine (were you responding to me or did you mean to respond to someone else?)
But anyway, with regards to the internet, the EU is simply far too slow to get on top of the problems you mention. As we saw with the GDPR, it takes years to get legislation on track and then the result (trumpeted as “the new gold standard” because it’s been used as a model in Kenya) is pretty questionable and missed some of its own key aims (i.e. to create the fabled level playing field when actually implementation has created a confusing and ridiculous regulatory patchwork across the EU with little if any enforcement). By the time even that shonky legislation is in force and implemented, the tech companies have disappeared over the horizon.
Another thing which I would mention here is the recent statement on the part of Thierry Breton to the effect that “yes, the EU has been left behind by China and the US on the incredibly important issue of AI, but no matter! Even if we can’t innovate, we can regulate!”
Well, thank goodness for that then – disaster averted! Because, as we all know, even more regulation is an excellent way to maintain the wealth and economic clout that enables the EU to project its regulatory power in the first place *sarcasm off*
Such a statement can only come from someone so deeply entrenched in the decadent bureaucratic mindset that they’ve lost all connection to reality and common sense. China must be laughing all day long and I guess the US just shakes its head at Europe’s continuing inability to pull itself together.
In the coming years, it may not be size that dictates the success of an entity. Britain may be a minnow, but agility will also bring advantages – as we saw with the vaccination campaign. It’s swings and roundabouts, not a zero-sum game whereby EU: goooooood, outside EU baaaaad.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

But the US, with its clear federal,structure, did amazingly well,with the vaccine under Trump. ( You remember the so called fact chequers saying he was,factually wrong in saying there would be a vaccine by the end of 2020). The EU had a fit of mission creep,and believed it could be more efficient with a central procurement mechanism, and were wrong. And after all, such mechanisms were super slow already, leading to the loss of literally ,billions of aid funds, that ran out of the time period in which they had to be contracted.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Brussels placed all its chips on the French as their most promising vaccine champion, instead of developing a unified EU alternative. When Sanofi failed in late 2020, the EU was left without a solution,, and so in true Euro-fashion, Brussels fell back on the Brexit-bad tack by attacking Astra-Zeneca. Admission of failure is anathema to bureaucrats, but nowhere more than in Brussels.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Trump did a stellar job with ‘Operation Warp Speed” and also closing the country off from travelers, even as Joe Biden screamed, “xenophobia!” at the time. Biden has no idea how lucky he is…or maybe he ‘created his luck’ as they say #corruption,

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

The EU was possibly trying to be too smart, but were incredibly dumb. Negotiating long with Pharma trying to get the price of vaccines down, instead of acting with speed and paying more to get vaccines into peoples arms. VDL looks to be utterly incompetent.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

This “inherently unstable multiethnic empire” – are you referencing the Russian Empire (Tsarist or Soviet), the Austro-Hungarian, or some other?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Krehbiel

Primarily the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago

Interesting Ashcroft exit poll findings. But there was another pre poll constituent: those who wanted to vote Leave but didn’t have the stomach for it. Perhaps they can be assigned to the “fear isolation” group. That leaves us with those choosing to remain in an organisation for economic reasons despite knowing it was progressively eroding their democracy, and those who agreed with Ken Clarke, who looked forward to the day when our Westminster parliament would be nothing more than a council chamber in Europe. At the time, and I stand by it, I characterised this as a coalition of mercenaries, cowards and Quislings.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Howard Gleave

I

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 years ago

I looked up the quote about Britain’s colonial adventures. I suspect there were quite a few PoC in India who were quite glad to see the British Empire replace the Mughal Empire, which killed a lot of PoC during its invasion, brought in an entirely alien religion, killed and replaced the power structure, and possibly even got rich on the belongings of the indigenes. And it was the second Mughal Empire to invade in 400 years. The first one was forced out.

Howard Gleave
Howard Gleave
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

I read a nice counterpoint to PoC. PoP or People of Pallor.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Your knowledge of history sails far too close to the wind of woke supremacy, which considers any attribution of injurious or destructive action on the part of PoC as the execrable product of white fragility.

Last edited 3 years ago by Douglas McNeish
Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago

Actually, she seems to be saying the opposite. The PoC Mughals were oppressors of the PoC Hindus, to an extent that many of the latter were glad to see white denizens of the British Isles chase the former out, or at least diminish their power significantly.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

K S Lal, the historian puts the death toll from 1000 AD to 1500, or 1700 AD at 88 Million. There were about 26 invasions pf India, the last one in about 1750AD.

Hugh Oxford
Hugh Oxford
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Oh sure. The ending of slavery, of suttee and the caste system as well. Or at least attempts to.

D Ward
D Ward
3 years ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

PoC f f s

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

“Peter Mair, in his already classic work Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy, called it the “withdrawal of the elites” into supranational institutions, in which the “horizontal” approval of other politicians outweighed the “vertical” support of the electorate.”

To be honest we have not yet escaped this problem. The performance of the UK during the pandemic was very obviously hamstrung by our own political class endlessly comparing their own decisions with those of other nations, as did the leaders of other nations themselves, Sweden being the honourable exception here of course.

The only saving grace for the UK was the vaccine procurement process, the gains of which we’re now in the middle of throwing away – so much for Brexit agility. It’s almost as if our public sector, having spent so long denying that Brexit could deliver such advantages, have been terrified at the proof that those advantages are real, and are now trying to sabotage them to save face.

As for the Anywheres, the best course of action, I feel, is to devise some sort of choice in which they must choose Here-And-Shut-Up-About-It, or Anywhere-Else. The present option most of them are taking, Anywhere-But-For-Some-Reason-Still-Here-And-Whingeing, is starting to become tedious.

Suggestions welcome.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Riordan
Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Spot on. That “for some reason” is the privilege of the whingeing class in politics and the media.

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
3 years ago

Yes, and of Hollywood too. There are always a number of Americans who threaten to leave the US if a Republican wins the Presidency. A journalist who looked into the matter found only one who actually did so. She was a writer of whom I’d never heard.

Last edited 3 years ago by Tom Krehbiel
Duncan Mann
Duncan Mann
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

The only saving grace for the UK was the vaccine procurement process, the gains of which we’re now in the middle of throwing away – so much for Brexit agility. It’s almost as if our public sector, having spent so long denying that Brexit could deliver such advantages, have been terrified at the proof that those advantages are real, and are now trying to sabotage them to save face.
I’m sorry, the fabled vaccines procurement agility due to Brexit is a myth. So far as I recall, the UK could have done the same within the EU, by going its own way re procurement – it’s not a competence that nation states were obliged to relinquish to the EC…

Last edited 3 years ago by Duncan Mann
John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago
Reply to  Duncan Mann

What an utterly clueless comment. Never mind whether it’s officially a federal competence or not: what actually happened?

What happened is that Brussels took charge and fucked it up, while the UK handled it’s own affairs and managed not to f**k it up. The idea that you can somehow dismiss the actual facts by reference to the theology of the EU is absurd and plain idiotic.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

“The performance of the UK during the pandemic“*

*Plandemic

This covid 19 fiasco was totally the Global Elites using the Project Fear they created through their running-dogs, the MSM, Social Media, Political Parties, Finance Barons, Education and entertainment industries, to destroy the West as we know it, and thus bring about a Global 1984.

The lockdowns and MMT printing are merely to sweep the globe in a super great depression through massive Deflation, or hyper-inflation, so they may take open control during the ensuing mega-disaster.*

*(but then I am a conspiracy loon)

Hugh Eveleigh
Hugh Eveleigh
3 years ago

Well phrased indeed and I believe an accurate assessment of the now in respect to people’s attitudes to the EU. We are well out and it would be even better if we ditched the ‘protocol’ and rid ourselves of the EU’s determination to break NI away, causing mayhem in the meanwhile.

Stuart Y
Stuart Y
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Eveleigh

Its not just the EU’s determination to “break NI away, causing mayhem in the meantime”, unfortunately, they have an excuse of distance and ignorance. Here the usual suspects have undoubtedly “ignorance” and also another agenda.

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
3 years ago

If the EU ever does become a military power, rather than just a legalistic and autocratic one, then the world should really start to worry.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

Right….the EU is not going to become a military power, anymore than my mother is going to become a street thug/crime boss. The EU are total P* SSIES and have found their enemy and it is them. The only people need fear the EU are the people living in it.

Peter LR
Peter LR
3 years ago

This is a fine example of acerbic, ironic wit – thanks for an early morning laugh, Robert!
(PS his book, The English and their History, is a great read)

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
3 years ago

Again, if the EU was a 100 year project, growing organically then chances are there would be less instability but they were obviously in too much of a hurry and brexit is one of the consequences of that in my opinion.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

I suspect also that there is a certain poverty of expectation around the EU. That is, what they’re desperate to avoid is another Reich or USSR; so as long as whatever the EU morphs is not actually as bad as either of those, it’s a success. The UK has neither produced nor been occupied by any such regime, so we perhaps expect a bit more of our foreign overlords.

Jane Morris-Jones
Jane Morris-Jones
3 years ago

Prof Tombs has with his customary brilliance skewered the central weakness of the EU: that it is impossible for it to have a meaningful foreign policy because it’s member states are fundamentally misaligned. This is most obvious in immigration, energy and overseas military engagement policy. Many people talk of a world of competing power blocs which it would be dangerous to stand outside; history suggests otherwise and anyway the EU cannot have real global influence when it can never speak with one voice on foreign affairs.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
3 years ago

Fine article, thank you.

mike otter
mike otter
3 years ago

Anyone who can’t see the misuse of Covid to create psychological and economic harm is a product of the Remainer mentality is either dumb or mendacious. BTW i voted remain, accept the result, and after the vote dug in to see how venal, corrupt and shortsighted the EU (Yimakh shemo) really is. This option is open to anyone who voted to stay, and unlike Covid treatments it really does work as a cure for remoaner syndrome.

Geoffrey Wilson
Geoffrey Wilson
3 years ago

Interesting article, with of course some insights from an expert in history (and in being personally insulted constantly over the last 5 years from aggrieved remainers who think even one educated leaver must be mentally deranged). I must admit that I too struggle to understand the many in our “elite” who regard anything British as by definition flawed, whereas anything from any other country however clearly objectionable (CCP anyone) is not to be challenged, except by nasty people. How do we get our government, supposedly on the British side, to stand up for the many wonderful things about Britain?

Ceelly Hay
Ceelly Hay
3 years ago

This article is why I love this site. It gives the varied, in-depth analysis I am not getting anywhere else. There is a naive realism of the ‘creative class’. (A term that best describes the educated elite of the left.) Who are what ‘Hierarchical Theory’ by Ahl & Allen ( my all-time favourite book) called ‘naive realist’, who strongly believe that they can answer any problems from their own experience of their material world? That there can only be one proper explanation – theirs!!! Complex problem small details interact to create the context. Only believing your own perspective ignores the other information needed to understand complex problems – the ‘vertical’ support or information.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ceelly Hay
Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
3 years ago

As is always so there are Anywheres who also seek solid ground. Much to dissect in this nice analysis and interesting points made.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
3 years ago

When I used to travel frequently to Brussels and other cities in Europe for project meetings, I was often told that the presence of a UK member helped to hold the rest together and promote common sense. What could have been had we stayed in?

Robert Pound
Robert Pound
3 years ago

Of course Orwell was a patriot, although much of his most patriotic writing was written during the Second World War when patriotism was politically useful. But he was contemptuous of jingoism, so much of the Leave campaign would probably have disgusted him. We should remember that in 1947, one of his last writings, he advocated a united socialist Europe. It is thus wrong to appropriate Orwell for the nationalist right.
Orwell was fiercely anticolonial, although this does not necessarily mean he would have supported modern “decolonial” politics, but the imperial nostalgia of the Brexit campaign would probably not have been his cup of tea.

Kristof K
Kristof K
3 years ago

Dear Prof. Tombs,

I suppose I cannot but consider myself what you might describe as an ‘Anywhere’ person, having been borne in Zimbabwe of Polish parents and now being a (appreciatively and proudly) naturalised Brit.

Who knows what my fate might be, but from my perspective it did appear to become somewhat more uncertain when the Brexit referendum result went the opposite way from how I voted in it. â€œWe shall see”. Is, I think, about the most illuminating nugget of prediction in your article.

And really, there were so many hyperlinks to other material which itself in turn was so varied in its immediate accessibility and/or crammed with analysis that I found it tough to judge its coherence with your article. In fact one of the articles, hyperlinked as a determining pronoun, does not appear to cohere at all well with the thrust of your article. From the context in which it is hyperlinked the reader naturally infers that the article is written by an Oxford don directly involved in the Rhodes Must Fall distraction. It would have been better if I hadn’t needed to do the little extra work I had to do to discover that the writer of the article is a fellow fellow of your (much better of course) university. This left me confused. Now I have to go and check whether Priyamvada Gopal might have been an Oxford don at the time the article was written. That’s just too much effort. Of course other readers of your stuff will be more familiar with Prof. Gopal’s views and material, but I found myself calling to mind the quote by Marcus Quintilian, “We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us.”

Until today I had never even heard of Prof. Gopal. Nevertheless I am grateful for the chance your article gave me to expend even more effort finding out more about her. This actually led to a better understanding of some of my personal interactions with relatives and friends. Even more of my “anywhereness”: I am married to an Indian and am lucky enough to have many debates with relatives and friends thus acquired about the empire. Some of them (but definitely not all) would agree with much of what Prof. Gopal has to say.

But back to your article: My disappointment with the referendum’s result related more to the way campaigning was conducted. Sure, neither side covered itself in even the thinnest vales of glory as far as honesty was concerned. This in itself was always going to lead to much recrimination on the part of whichever side lost. Cheating and losing is OK, but cheating and winning: boy is that a bitter pill for the losers to swallow. Their (well fair enough my) desire for a second referendum to ratify the details of any final deal needs to be understood in that context. Even Jacob Rees-Mogg himself spoke of a two-referendum process when speaking in Parliament in, I think, 2011. For me this just highlights even further the level of deceit involved.

You distil the anti-Brexit cause as amounting to “vested interest, and visceral alienation”. You justify this partly by quoting some book or other which says Brexit was due to “a nostalgia for a time when life was easier, and Britain could simply get rich by killing people of colour and stealing their stuff”. Now I remember quite vividly a phrase repeatedly used by my history teacher: â€œgunboat diplomacy”. I wasn’t that good at history and can’t even remember what particular historical events it refers to, but that phrase still leaves me with the impression that there was a time Britain could throw its weight around and did. The book surely has a point, then. I don’t doubt that some contemporaneously schooled people with different life experiences from mine might be prone to such nostalgia for that time, and that they feel Brexit is a route to regaining it. But how can I feel alienated from them? I grew up with them, youthfully mis-behaved with them, go to pubs with them; in short I identify with them and love this identity. But I tend not to read articles written by them claiming that I alienate myself from them, or they from me. Indeed my personal experiences in the context of the British Empire and the wars it fought are arguably very positive. Those of others are clearly not, though. So I only hope that grown-up and even heated conversations about our different experiences will help us understand each other better and eventually unite us, rather than divide us and make us each other’s enemies.

You also imply that membership of the National Farmers’ Union somehow makes you an “anywhere” person. I doubt this to be the case. I imagine there to be very few British farmers who are “anywhere” in the same way that I am: I doubt there are many black British farmers or those with “woke” tendencies. It’s further very rich to describe their interests as “vested” (a phrase I think applied to them early on by Patrick Minford) when comparing them to the interests vested in the massive entities in Australia running vast cattle and sheep herds that (are said to) rear their animals on antibiotics and growth hormones which British farmers cannot currently use. So even you, a renowned historian, seem to be prey to this deception. The British farmers’ interests are vested not only in their livelihoods, but in the welfare of their animals and the preservation of the British countryside. Of course their interests are also vested in the continuing subsidies that help them do this. Preserving their way of life is surely part of our love of our British identity. Prof. Patrick Minford, a Brexit advocate, predicted that British farming and other British industries would likely not survive in the face of global competition following Brexit. I wonder how many of those nostalgic “somewheres”, being presumably  lovers (albeit nostalgic ones) of the British countryside, are hoping that Prof. Minford’s predictions prove as unreliable as those of some anti-Brexiters. (And I wonder how much love he really has for his British identity.) It would seem that influential pro-Brexiters just prefer global vested interests to local vested interests. In fact they wish for nothing but the disintegration of the EU, a desire shared by other adversaries of liberal democracy: Russia, China.

So I can’t help but find your article deeply flawed. You just can’t put people so neatly into the categories you use: â€œanywhere”, “decolonisers”. These categories exist only in the minds of the commentariat which needs something to write about; and the more examples of these categories they try to squeeze into their writings, the more the inconsistencies and contradictions in their articles become evident. (I would say this applies to all sides of the commentariat.) But I hope your article is accurate in this respect: the memories of the “visceral” skermishes (not all of them verbal) are fading, even as articles like yours provide a brief opportunity to revive them.

Some of the arguments nevertheless remain relevant so long as the EU is still around. Where I think your article is strong is in its discussion of the tendency of elites in sovereign states necessarily to create and migrate into supranational entities, and the way in which Brexit is a popular reaction to this. However I would argue that the EU was the most democratically valid of such entities ever so far to exist in human history. I’ll now name a few with much less democratic validity: Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon. Yes, these are supranational entities into which the tech’ elites from every country migrate. I don’t know about you, but I would rather feel frustrated by rules made in a democratically based organisation which, in principle, can be changed — even if such change might take a while. A plausible alternative is surely that even sovereign states find themselves ever subject to the policies set for their own benefit by the oligopolies I named earlier. Is that the kind of world we really want (our children) to live in? Give me the EU (or something like it) any day. I don’t know if it can survive in its current form and with its own present contradictions — as you say: we shall see.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

H

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L Paw
L Paw
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Asone of the 17.4 million my main emotion is I’m not emotional about it. National pragmatism was one the main drivers beind the UK leave vote. BTW the entire UK was asked in the Referendum to vote on whether the entire UK remained or left the EU, not individual home nations.
Facts of the run up to the Referendum are that UK had opted out of so many parts of the EU project and had asked for almost an associate membership. The arrogant EU hierarchy totally dismissed this request. UKs EU membership had resulted in ‘000s of jobs being transferred out of UK part financed by EU grants. One of the reasons that so many UK regions have high unemployment and poor prospects.
Of course for the metropolitan elite, the arts must be protected at all costs. There are however more pressing economic factors for millions of UK citizens in the regions. They can now see some assistance, levelling up, using some of our ÂŁbillions we would have paid the EU.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  L Paw

Pr

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
Margaret Tudeau-Clayton
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Your posts must be very interesting since they are being vigorously voted down 🙂 but I don’t get to see any of them except for their initial letter. Have they been censored . How is it that some readers are seeing them?

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  L Paw

You sure about that. Capital will go where it wants to go. If it weren’t Poland it would be China. Or India. Outsourcing would have happened anyway. In fact global Britain will continue this.

Last edited 3 years ago by Franz Von Peppercorn
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  L Paw

Don’t forget over 5 million EU citizens, millions more than we were told were here, have applied for settled status and now live in the UK with full rights and can roam around the EU at will. They have more rights than we do.

Charlie Dibsdale
Charlie Dibsdale
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

What a litany of doom. Sounds to me you are still grieving. Creative industries suffer? maybe, but the record of investment in our creative industries is greater than the rest of the EU combined. There is a lot of international investment money speaking loud and clear here. We in the UK do have some issues about converting our smaller creative businesses into UK owned global powerhouses, but this is not a problem with or result of leaving the EU. The saddest recent example of the UK selling off the family silver too cheaply is ARM. This does not take away the brilliance of what ARM has achieved, in eating US behemoth Intel’s breakfast – because it clearly shows the UK’s great potential. The EU’s gut instinct to over regulate with Soviet style central planning has had the effect of killing innovation, and this could easily contribute to its demise. So far as Brexit being a success or not, let us suspend judgement for a few years. Personally I agree it is possible we could fluff it up, but the early signs are positive. If we did fluff it, it would IMO be a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

‘still grieving…’ Maybe, I’ll be honest.

Stuart Y
Stuart Y
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

“Wales and England”, didnt make a decision did they or Scotland for that matter?. Of all the disinformation put about by people like you, to me this is the most disingenuous and actually dangerous as we now see in Scotland and N.I.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Stuart Y

S

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater