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Full speed ahead for the EU without us

Regulars | By Simon Carr | November issue

We’ve been bad unionists. As we leave, the European project expands 

Obviously, our negotiators and negotiating partners are going to behave in a sensible, fair-minded way. Or so we think because we think, because we are sensible, fair-minded citizens. Ultimately, reason will prevail. The grown-ups will make sure we come to a mutually profitable agreement. None of us will cut off our nose to spite our face. German car manufacturers won’t allow themselves to be denied our large, profitable market. Economics will inevitably prevail over politics. But, then again, the precedents point the other way. After Napoleon conquered Europe, he instituted the Continental System – forbidding his allies and dependants from trading with Britain. After he had ruined us economically, he reasoned, he could invade, conquer, become Prime Minister and possibly King. Both Europhiles and sceptics may see in this something of our current relations with the European Union. Back in the day, when Russia interrupted his strategy by trading with...

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