The EU Referendum: some thoughts and clarifications

The Pamphleteer

These are interesting times. The United Kingdom’s referendum on its membership of the European Union raises big, obvious questions – but it also masks much bigger questions, which tend to be ignored by contemporary politicians. We might wonder, for example, how we have arrived, historically, at the current circumstances in which we in Britain and Europe find ourselves. We might also ask: what is the future of European civilisation? Or better – what could and should it be?

Like any political order, the EU itself is a product of history, geography and will. It is not as important in the much bigger question of European civilisation as its current officers (and many others) seem to think it is. Contrary to the lazy language of politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and media commentators, ‘Europe’ is not identical with the EU: it is much more than that. That may provide some comfort both to…

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