I’ve seen Britain’s post-Brexit future – and it’s beautiful, by James Delingpole.
Robert Conquest once said that there are only two European democracies — Switzerland and Britain. Which may be why we both feel so unsuited to membership of the anti-democratic EU.
This, certainly, is the view of elder statesman Christoph Blocher, the Swiss former MP largely credited with having kept Switzerland out of the EU. When we met at the Swiss federal parliament in the (almost unfeasibly pleasant) capital Berne he enumerated our similarities.
‘One, England has always had a very big sense of sovereignty — “we are Britain and we are doing this”. Two, freedom is very important to England. You have an older tradition than countries like Germany which didn’t exist before 1871 and has only been a democracy since 1945. And three, you are an island and Switzerland is an island too. We are an island without a sea.’ …
His problem with the EU, he explains, is that its values are antithetical to the ‘three pillars’ that give Switzerland its comparative advantage — direct democracy, neutrality, and federalism. ‘The European Union is a bad construction. Twenty-eight states under the same rules? That cannot function. Not when there are countries like Italy which have another sense of the rules than we do. We like the Italians. But that is no reason for behaving like the Italians.’
hat-tip Stephen Neil