In this weekend's The Tablet.
I suspect that Robert Tombs, emeritus professor of French history at Cambridge, knows rather more about the workings of history than your reviewer, Christopher Bray (Books, 27 February).
But however much he objects to the optimistic message emerging from Professor Tombs’ book, This Sovereign Isle, one wonders how the post-Brexit counsel of gloom which Mr Bray prefers is supposed to help anyone, particularly when so much of the same has already been disseminated by The Tablet.
Of course, passionate Remainers may find it embarrassing if this country achieves prosperity, over coming years, outside the European Union. They may even be tempted to work against it. But isn’t it now time to face reality and move on? We’ve left, and we must make a success of it.
The author, the journalist Jonathan Luxmoore whose international reporting often appears in The Tablet and The Universe, and who has also written on Poland for Mass of Ages, is the author of The God of the Gulag, a two-volume study of the persecution of Christians under Communism.
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What a sad and depressing little letter to choose as the letter of the week.ReplyDelete
We need to "face reality and move on". "We've left and we must make a success of it".
And we may, possibly, "achieve prosperity, over coming years, outside the European Union".
No "brexit dividend"? No £350 million per week for the NHS?
Never glad confident morning again!
I am a supporter of the Latin Mass and of the Society. But I also deeply regret the dishonest brexit campaign, based on lies and false promises as a distraction from the failures of domestic policy. I regret even more the damage that the brexit process has done to the UK's international standing. I accept that it is time to move on, if possible, and simply to accept the damage that will be done to (mostly small) businesses across all sectors of the economy, the removal of rights, and all of the other downsides of brexit that were never spelled out in advance.
But the sad fact is that "brexit" is unfinished business. The government has, in the last few days, once again proposed to renege unilaterally on binding commitments entered into 3 months ago. This will drag on and on as the government is forced to confront the reality of what they negotiated and sold to the British public.
"Facing reality and moving on" does seem to be official government policy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer made his budget speech this week. It is noteworthy that he didn't mention brexit once. This is the government's flagship policy, which was supposed to make things better for those who voted for it. Not a peep out of the Chancellor. In the Autumn Statement, not a word. No mention of increased prosperity - or indeed any positive impact of brexit at all - in the short, long or medium term.
For the moment, the government can hide behind the undoubted disruption caused by the pandemic, but we should already be beginning to look beyond that - which makes the Chancellor's silence even more surprising.
What a mess. We must, indeed, move on and try to make a success of it. But perhaps more importantly, we need to learn the lessons from handling major constitutional change so carelessly.