When this magazine endorsed Brexit, it did so in typically trenchant and elegant fashion. ‘Out and into the world’ we said. The central thesis of The Spectator’s case for Leave was that the European Union has become a parody of itself, a sclerotic, irredeemably unreformable, set of institutions that are, at some core, fundamental, level intrinsically incompatible with this country’s instincts, traditions, and future.
So, you’re agin it? The problem here is that this is all vague, aesthetic, assertion-led attitude. There’s nothing concrete there. What “reforms”? Which “instincts”? How “incompatible”? What are these things you are talking about? Could I kick one across the street?
Those figures are accurate but misleading and, in other circumstances, I suspect The Spectator would be the first to tell you so. The relative proportions matter rather more than the absolute numbers. 44 percent of UK exports go to EU countries (a figure you may, with some reason, think depressingly high) but only eight percent of EU exports come to the UK.
Why depressingly? It’s next door!
Anyway, Massie spends most of the rest of the article pointing out that the mag’s case for Brexit was a load of nonsense without, you know, saying so. But I will.