I read somewhere the other day that the problem with the European Union was that its best days were behind it; loath though I am to admit it, there may be truth in that. History doesn’t hang about. It is without sentiment. It leaves the past behind without so much as a second’s thought. Just as the British Empire was already doomed in the lead-up to the Second World War, so the European Community may find that the boundless optimism that held it together from its inception in 1957 to, say, the financial crash of 2008 is no longer seen as supporting revealed truth, but, rather, dogma.
Brits are not used to thinking through questions of dependence, says Ed Conway, author of Material World.