Brexit

Why the fall of Calais provides the best historical precedent for Brexit

BY Simon Targett   /  7 December 2018

As Leavers and Remainers prepare to cast their vote on Theresa May’s European Union Withdrawal Agreement, they have been busy ransacking the history books in search of appropriate parallels with Brexit.

For some Remainers, the debacle that was Suez in 1956, when Sir Anthony Eden was obliged to order the withdrawal of British troops from the Suez Canal zone, is regarded as an obvious and suitably humiliating precedent for what they see as Mrs May’s bungling of the negotiations with the EU. Others go further back to the Munich Agreement in 1938, when Neville Chamberlain, waving a worthless piece of paper bearing Hitler’s name before a throng of people at Heston Aerodrome, claimed that he had secured “peace for our time”—which, of course, he hadn’t.


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