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US News We're leaving EU tomorrow! Remainer DOMINIC SANDBROOK looks back at how the 1973 dream soured... and argues that history WILL reward us for Brexit

23:23  30 january  2020
23:23  30 january  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Britain officially on verge of leaving EU as Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement becomes law

  Britain officially on verge of leaving EU as Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement becomes law Britain is officially on the verge of leaving the EU after Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill gained royal assent to become law. Some MPs cheered as deputy speaker Nigel Evans said in a short announcement to the Commons on Thursday that the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act had received royal assent.

  We're leaving EU tomorrow! Remainer DOMINIC SANDBROOK looks back at how the 1973 dream soured... and argues that history WILL reward us for Brexit © Reuters Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Very few people, I imagine, get a great thrill from following proceedings in the European Parliament. But yesterday was different.

In an extraordinary session complete with emotional speeches and even music, the 751 representatives voted to approve Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

So after all the squabbling, the paralysis and the hysteria, after all the experts' claims that it was too difficult and that we would change our minds, we really have done it.

'Britain is now a small country': Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says UK will have 'weak position' in trade talks with the EU after Brexit

  'Britain is now a small country': Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says UK will have 'weak position' in trade talks with the EU after Brexit Ireland's leader Leo Varadkar told the BBC that Britain is on the back foot as it is only 'one country'. He added that the UK only has a population of 60million compared to the EU's 450million.The Irish leader said the EU would have the 'upper hand' in post-Brexit trade talks, which formally begin after Britain leaves on Friday.

We've packed our bags and bought our tickets, and on Friday evening we are off.

Whatever you think of the decision, there is no doubt this is a landmark in our modern history.

Dominic Sandbrook tells the story of European Union...

Nigel Farage wearing a suit and tie holding his hand up: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage waves the Union Flag as Brexit Day was set in stone at the EU yesterday with Britain now certainly leaving  the bloc on Friday at 11pm © Provided by Daily Mail Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage waves the Union Flag as Brexit Day was set in stone at the EU yesterday with Britain now certainly leaving  the bloc on Friday at 11pm a person talking on a cell phone: There were tears from the Europeans and among pro-EU Brits who work for MEPs as the curtain came down on Britain's time in the EU © Provided by Daily Mail There were tears from the Europeans and among pro-EU Brits who work for MEPs as the curtain came down on Britain's time in the EU

I was born in 1974 and have spent my life as a citizen of what became the EU, though at the time people called it the Common Market.

Like most people of my generation, I grew up with the vague assumption that EU membership was the default and that, much as we grumbled about it, we were in it for good.

Post-Brexit Points-Based Immigration System 'Will Reduce Economic Growth'

  Post-Brexit Points-Based Immigration System 'Will Reduce Economic Growth' Boris Johnson’s plan to end free movement and introduce a points-based immigration system after Brexit will cut economic growth and lead only to “very small increases” in people’s standard of living, a key report has said. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) also recommended on Tuesday that the prime minister cuts the controversial minimum salary threshold for skilled immigrants from £30,000 to £25,600.The independent report was commissioned by the government to help inform its plans to introduce a new immigration system after Brexit, including aspects of an Australian-style points-based model.

Iratxe García, Richard Corbett are posing for a picture: Labour MEP Richard Corbett holds up an 'Always United' scarf in a ceremony where an: 'It's not goodbye - it's au revoir' message appeared in the European Parliament chamber © Provided by Daily Mail Labour MEP Richard Corbett holds up an 'Always United' scarf in a ceremony where an: 'It's not goodbye - it's au revoir' message appeared in the European Parliament chamber Even when, almost 20 years ago, I started writing about the history of postwar Britain, it never really occurred to me that our experiment with European confederation might prove a short-lived aberration.

Well, I was wrong. But in fairness, I wasn't alone.

a person talking on a cell phone: There were tears from the Europeans and among pro-EU Brits who work for MEPs as the curtain came down on Britain's time in the EU © Provided by Daily Mail There were tears from the Europeans and among pro-EU Brits who work for MEPs as the curtain came down on Britain's time in the EU What strikes me now, in fact, is how consistently wrong our political and intellectual elites have been.

Shocked and outraged by the 2016 referendum result, many self-consciously liberal, high-minded types insisted it must have been a fluke, even a freak.

The vote was rigged, they said. It was a short-term reaction to austerity. It was a protest of those dubbed 'the left-behinds'.

After Brexit, New Identity Crises Await the U.K.

  After Brexit, New Identity Crises Await the U.K. As Britain withdraws from the EU, signs of future conflict are already evident.One evening last week, I found myself dining in the House of Lords just as the “European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill”—the law that will finalize Brexit—was wending its way through the final stages of the British legislative process. When I arrived, the debate was paused; at suppertime, formally speaking, the Lords “Adjourn During Pleasure.

It was a racist spasm, a terrifying lurch into xenophobia, a self-deluding effort to recapture a vanished empire.

You probably don't need me to tell you what rubbish this was. And now, looking back at the past 50 years, I wonder whether Brexit was inevitable all along.

1967

Charles de Gaulle wearing a suit and tie: Britain’s application to join the Common Market vetoed by French president Charles de Gaulle with a firm: ‘Non’ © Provided by Daily Mail Britain’s application to join the Common Market vetoed by French president Charles de Gaulle with a firm: ‘Non’

1972

Alec Douglas-Home et al. standing in a room: A protester throws ink at PM Edward Heath as he arrives in Brussels to sign the UK’s entry watched by our chief negotiator Geoffrey Rippon © Provided by Daily Mail A protester throws ink at PM Edward Heath as he arrives in Brussels to sign the UK’s entry watched by our chief negotiator Geoffrey Rippon

1973

a group of people sitting at a table: January 1 and the Mail warmly welcomes our entry into the 'free association of nations'. Pictured: Prime Minister Edward Heath signing Britain's 1973 entry to the European Common Market © Provided by Daily Mail January 1 and the Mail warmly welcomes our entry into the 'free association of nations'. Pictured: Prime Minister Edward Heath signing Britain's 1973 entry to the European Common Market

When France and West Germany came together in the 1950s to set up the ancestor of today's EU, Britain wanted no part of it.

a close up of a newspaper: Pictured: The front page of the Daily Mail on January 1 1973 with the headline 'Europe Here We Come!' © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: The front page of the Daily Mail on January 1 1973 with the headline 'Europe Here We Come!' There was no significant pro-European lobby in this country, and the idea of plunging into a Continental federal union struck most people, Labour and Tories alike, as fundamentally un-British.

The European Union’s Double Crisis of Legitimacy

  The European Union’s Double Crisis of Legitimacy It isn’t sufficiently democratic, and there’s no push to penalize authoritarian member states.After two years of chaos and prevarication, the United Kingdom is finally leaving the European Union.

a close up of a coin: A commemorative 50p coin (pictured)  celebrating the European Union is minted too © Provided by Daily Mail A commemorative 50p coin (pictured)  celebrating the European Union is minted too It was only after the shock of the Suez Crisis in 1956, and the rapid collapse of our empire in Africa and Asia, that political and business elites decided Britain needed to 'find a role'.

Put simply, they panicked, convincing themselves that unless we joined our neighbours' club, we would become a fading backwater, known only for making abysmal cars and going on strike.

But while they may have convinced themselves, they never convinced the public. Polls in the 1960s consistently found that most people either disliked the thought of European membership or were completely indifferent to it.

And when we did join under Ted Heath in 1973, the planned national celebrations were a very damp squib. Polls found that four out of ten people were still against it.

Indeed, nothing captured the mood better than the shambolic 'celebrations' in Ivybridge, Devon, where the pro-European mayor organised a parade led by a teenager dressed as Britannia, and invited bewildered townsfolk to line the streets and wave European flags.

As the odd-job man who put out flags along the route remarked, most people 'didn't know what they were doing. They didn't know what was going on. It was a big con-job'.

Boris Johnson’s Post-Brexit To-Do List

  Boris Johnson’s Post-Brexit To-Do List Britain’s departure from the European Union can longer camouflage the country’s deep problems.Britain has officially left the European Union—not with a bong, but a whimper. The muted celebrations reflected the country’s divisions, but also another fundamental law of politics: Triumph has a very short half-life.

1973

Sylvia Kristel et al. posing for a photo: Miss TV Europe entrants. Holland’s Sylvia Kristel (front centre) later found fame as Emmanuelle © Provided by Daily Mail Miss TV Europe entrants. Holland’s Sylvia Kristel (front centre) later found fame as Emmanuelle

1973

a group of people walking down the street: Gertrude Shilling (pictured) goes over the top with a hat to celebrate at Royal Ascot © Provided by Daily Mail Gertrude Shilling (pictured) goes over the top with a hat to celebrate at Royal Ascot

1975

a person posing for the camera: Margaret Thatcher wears a pro-Europe jumper on the eve of the referendum © Provided by Daily Mail Margaret Thatcher wears a pro-Europe jumper on the eve of the referendum

1975

a close up of a newspaper: The Mail predicts a huge 'Yes to Europe' vote in the in-out poll called by Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in June © Provided by Daily Mail The Mail predicts a huge 'Yes to Europe' vote in the in-out poll called by Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in June

It's true, of course, that when Heath's successor Harold Wilson held a referendum two years later, people voted by two to one to stay in. But I think that result was an aberration, which has misled and blinded our political elite ever since.

It took place at the nadir of our post-Suez crisis of confidence, with IRA bombs in London, politics in turmoil and inflation at almost 30 per cent. And even at the time, there was no real evidence of pro-European enthusiasm.

Soon public opinion reverted to its natural scepticism. Indeed, when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979, polling data showed that at least half the electorate already wanted to leave.

Mrs Thatcher didn't create popular Euroscepticism, in other words. She simply reflected it.

Today you sometimes hear ultra-Remainers lamenting that things could have been different, and that if it hadn't been for the wicked witch of Grantham, the British people might have learned to become good little Europeans.

I don't find that convincing at all.

‘Thanks, goodbye and good riddance’ — EU’s parting words to UK

  ‘Thanks, goodbye and good riddance’ — EU’s parting words to UK The EU’s final words to the UK as it departed the union after nearly half a century were “thank you, goodbye, and good riddance”. The misspoken farewell, spoken by the Croatian ambassador to her UK counterpart Tim Barrow last week, perhaps sums up 47 years of the Britons being lost in translation in Brussels.

To turn ordinary Britons into good Europeans would have required a cultural revolution. Ordinary people would have had to forget Elizabeth defying the Armada, Nelson on the deck of the Victory, the little ships at Dunkirk, the heroes of the Battle of Britain, even things like Dad's Army and The Dam Busters.

Patriotic myths? Perhaps. But what is any national story, if not a collection of deeply rooted and hugely emotive patriotic myths?

Gallery: Leave vs Remain: Images of divided Brexit Britain [Photos]

Yet from Ted Heath to Tony Blair, too many national politicians consistently misunderstood their own country.

They insisted that Britain was now part of a homogenised European story, but completely underestimated how attached ordinary people were to their old, patriotic one.

They ignored polls showing that people were stubbornly resistant to the European project. Instead, they continued down the path towards ever-closer union. The only thing that changed was the speed of the journey, never the direction.

But it speaks volumes about the weakness of the European project that when, in 2016, the long decades of argument came to the crunch, the Remainers had almost nothing positive to say.

Set against the old story of a free, independent Britain, their cliches about world peace and continental brotherhood looked pious and flimsy, like the kind of thing an earnest headmaster trots out for his weekly school assembly.

So instead they fell back on Project Fear, insisting on the dire economic consequences if we left the EU.

In truth, that was probably their best card. It resonated with cautious, risk-averse people who were worried about the lack of a strategy for when we left.

That's why I voted Remain — not because I have any fondness for Brussels or any great affection for the European project, but because I instinctively dislike the thought of change.

But the fact that, after almost half a century, this was the Establishment's only card speaks volumes.

For the fundamental truth, obscured by all the years of hysterical argument, is that a very large proportion of the British people have never seen themselves as European and have never been reconciled to the European project.

So where does all this leave us? Is Britain back in the 1960s, reeling from the loss of empire, confused and alone in an increasingly competitive world, a sadly deluded has-been riding for a fall?

  We're leaving EU tomorrow! Remainer DOMINIC SANDBROOK looks back at how the 1973 dream soured... and argues that history WILL reward us for Brexit © PA I don't think so. The 50-year experiment with European unity may have proved a red herring, but there is little doubt we are much better placed to thrive in the world than we were before 1973.

We are more confident, more creative and more dynamic.

In London we have the greatest city on earth. In science and technology, as well as music and entertainment, we are genuine world leaders. There is no reason, in other words, why we shouldn't flourish after Brexit.

And although I didn't vote for it, I'm not sorry we are out.

There is something invigorating about standing on your own two feet, rather than huddling in a group for protection. I like the thought that our children and grandchildren will grow up in a proudly independent country, making its own way in the world.

I won't miss the European Parliament, the ultimate pointless talking-shop. I won't miss Brussels and Strasbourg with their unaudited accounts, their sclerosis and stagnation. And I definitely won't miss that wretched European flag.

For the first time in half a century, we're on our own. Yes, there will be challenges ahead, as there always are when you set out on a great adventure.

But if we make it work, as I believe we will, then history will reward us.

And one day, when our successors look back, the real mystery will be that we ever doubted ourselves.

1979

a man standing next to a fence: The huge ‘butter mountain’ in Germany reveals the wasteful folly of the Common Agricultural Policy © Provided by Daily Mail The huge ‘butter mountain’ in Germany reveals the wasteful folly of the Common Agricultural Policy

1990

a man holding a sign: A demonstrator rejects European Commissioner Jacques Delors’s campaign to force Britain into his planned superstate © Provided by Daily Mail A demonstrator rejects European Commissioner Jacques Delors’s campaign to force Britain into his planned superstate

2002

Scott Young standing in front of a fruit stand: Sunderland greengrocer Steve Thoburn (right) is prosecuted for not selling fruit in metric measures © Provided by Daily Mail Sunderland greengrocer Steve Thoburn (right) is prosecuted for not selling fruit in metric measures

2002

a close up of a clock: Twelve nations start to use the euro (pictured) — but Britons strongly resist © Provided by Daily Mail Twelve nations start to use the euro (pictured) — but Britons strongly resist a man standing in front of a building: Pictured: A British protester who is against the Euro stands outside the bank of England in London in 2002 © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: A British protester who is against the Euro stands outside the bank of England in London in 2002

2015

a group of people riding on the back of a horse: Thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East cross into Slovenia after Hungary decides to seal its borders against them © Provided by Daily Mail Thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East cross into Slovenia after Hungary decides to seal its borders against them

2016

Michael Gove, Boris Johnson are posing for a picture: The huge ‘butter mountain’ in Germany reveals the wasteful folly of the Common Agricultural Policy © Provided by Daily Mail The huge ‘butter mountain’ in Germany reveals the wasteful folly of the Common Agricultural Policy a close up of a blue wall: A Remainiac anti-Brexit badge © Provided by Daily Mail A Remainiac anti-Brexit badge a close up of a sign: A person wears a Pro-Brexit badges in the run up to the referendum © Provided by Daily Mail A person wears a Pro-Brexit badges in the run up to the referendum a red tour bus parked in front of a building: Boris Johnson rides in his Vote Leave bus while visiting Reidsteel, a Christchurch company backing the Leave Vote in 2016 © Provided by Daily Mail Boris Johnson rides in his Vote Leave bus while visiting Reidsteel, a Christchurch company backing the Leave Vote in 2016

June 15

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: A noisy clash on the Thames as Remainers, led by Bob Geldof, jeer at a flotilla of fishermen — and Nigel Farage — calling for the UK to take back its rights to British waters by voting to Leave © Provided by Daily Mail A noisy clash on the Thames as Remainers, led by Bob Geldof, jeer at a flotilla of fishermen — and Nigel Farage — calling for the UK to take back its rights to British waters by voting to Leave

June 24

a close up of a newspaper: An overjoyed Nigel Farage is pictured celebrating on the front page of the Mail as the result is announced and there is delight in the offices of the Leave EU campaign. The paper points out that the voters' decision is a crisis for David Cameron © Provided by Daily Mail An overjoyed Nigel Farage is pictured celebrating on the front page of the Mail as the result is announced and there is delight in the offices of the Leave EU campaign. The paper points out that the voters' decision is a crisis for David Cameron a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Pictured: Supporters of the Leave campaign celebrate as the country chooses to leave the European Union © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: Supporters of the Leave campaign celebrate as the country chooses to leave the European Union

June 24

David Cameron, Samantha Cameron standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Defeated and dejected, David Cameron is joined by wife Samantha outside No 10 as he resigns © Provided by Daily Mail Defeated and dejected, David Cameron is joined by wife Samantha outside No 10 as he resigns

2017

Donald Trump, Nigel Farage posing for a photo: Nigel Farage and his main backer Arron Banks are pictured meeting President Elect Donald Trump in front of a gold and diamond door at Trump Tower in New York © Provided by Daily Mail Nigel Farage and his main backer Arron Banks are pictured meeting President Elect Donald Trump in front of a gold and diamond door at Trump Tower in New York

2018

Gina Miller, David Pannick posing for the camera: Gina Miller’s (pictured outside the High Court in London) legal actions caused Brexit delays © Provided by Daily Mail Gina Miller’s (pictured outside the High Court in London) legal actions caused Brexit delays

September

Theresa May et al. standing in front of a crowd: PM Theresa May is humiliated at a meeting in Salzburg, Austria, as leaders of the other 27 EU nations tell her that her Chequers Brexit plan will not work, undermining her authority at home © Provided by Daily Mail PM Theresa May is humiliated at a meeting in Salzburg, Austria, as leaders of the other 27 EU nations tell her that her Chequers Brexit plan will not work, undermining her authority at home

2019

a group of police officers riding on the back of a truck: In March, Iain Duncan Smith arrives at Chequers in his open-top Morgan sports car for a meeting with the PM amid growing rumours there is to be a Cabinet revolt against her © Provided by Daily Mail In March, Iain Duncan Smith arrives at Chequers in his open-top Morgan sports car for a meeting with the PM amid growing rumours there is to be a Cabinet revolt against her

May 24

a woman standing in front of a laptop: An emotional Mrs May announces she will resign as Prime Minister on June 7 © Provided by Daily Mail An emotional Mrs May announces she will resign as Prime Minister on June 7

September

Boris Johnson in a suit standing in front of a building: Boris Johnson and his chief adviser Dominic Cummings hatch a new Brexit plan — an election © Provided by Daily Mail Boris Johnson and his chief adviser Dominic Cummings hatch a new Brexit plan — an election

And tears and flags as we bid Brussels farewell yesterday

a group of people looking at a cell phone: British MEP staff watch as the United Kingdom gears up to leave the European Union © Provided by Daily Mail British MEP staff watch as the United Kingdom gears up to leave the European Union Nigel Farage et al. standing in front of a crowd: Nigel Farage waves a Union Jack in the air at the EU parliament building on January 29 © Provided by Daily Mail Nigel Farage waves a Union Jack in the air at the EU parliament building on January 29 Tim Barrow wearing a suit and tie: A noisy clash on the Thames as Remainers, led by Bob Geldof, jeer at a flotilla of fishermen — and Nigel Farage — calling for the UK to take back its rights to British waters by voting to Leave © Provided by Daily Mail A noisy clash on the Thames as Remainers, led by Bob Geldof, jeer at a flotilla of fishermen — and Nigel Farage — calling for the UK to take back its rights to British waters by voting to Leave

Politicians Report 'Nastier' Election Including Death Threats, Street Harassment And Abuse .
Make sense of politics. Sign up to the Waugh Zone and get the political day in a nutshell. More than two-thirds (69%) of the candidates surveyed by Compassion In Politics said the campaign had been either “much nastier” or “a little nastier” than past elections.

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