Research: Commentary

Letters to the Editor: A Grave Mistake

The Times, April 9, 2017 |

By Harry Blaney

The simple fact is that Britain has greatly benefited from its membership of the EU, not least in having a strong voice in European decision-making that now will be absent (“This is no friendly divorce, but a long, bitter schism”, Niall Ferguson, Comment, last week). The cost, in my opinion as a former US diplomat who served in EU and Nato missions, will be considerable.

Ferguson was right on the likely complexity and high costs of leaving, and also sadly on the political cost of the “schism” or “divorce”.

An issue that Ferguson does not mention is that the Brexit act, during a time of a fragile European political landscape — with the rise of the far right, even fascist parties, and the acts by Russia to weaken and divide not just Europe but the West — will be seen in history as one of the great strategic mistakes of our century.

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