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We will always remain in Europe, it is the EU we are leaving

12 January, 2018

• FROM my standpoint as a hard-core fruitcake it is reassuring to observe those who peddle Project Fear actually believing it, terrified by the fake news they themselves unleashed.

In his letter to the Prime Minister advising he was resigning from the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis stated: “A responsible government should be seeking to persuade the British people to stay in Europe…”

This, despite a clear majority in the referendum telling the government the country wanted to leave the EU. In fact, we are in and will always remain in Europe. It is the EU we are leaving.

Lord Adonis seems to me to be conflating leaving the EU with a policy known as “splendid isolation”, associated with a former Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury. I would humbly suggest a more valid comparison is made with MP Joseph Chamberlain, a contemporary of Lord Salisbury in the Conservative Party.

Chamberlain stood for the policy of imperial preference and tariff reform. Just as the EU has erected a tariff barrier around itself, called the Customs Union, Chamberlain championed a tariff barrier around the empire with members trading on preferential terms and tariffs imposed on goods from the rest of the world.

The true advocates of “splendid isolation” are those wishing to remain in the EU.

Chamberlain never saw his vision realised because the Conservative Party lost the election in 1906 by a distance. They were comprehensively beaten on the issue of free trade, the rejection of tariff reform by, and here’s the kicker, the Liberal Party under Herbert Asquith.

Whatever happened to their free trade credentials?

Mildmay Grove North, N1


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