Britain: Leading not leaving

Two stacks of thick books standing parallel to one another with a gap between them through which a blue background can be seen. The books have white and creamy paper colors and mostly dark hardcovers.

This is the title of a new book by Gordon Brown which makes the case for Britain to stay in the EU. A digital version will set you back about £3.

My reading list tends to those who can put their point across with respect.

On the Leave side I have read Roger Bootle’s “The Trouble with Europe” and Richard North’s FLEXCIT. These both contain a great deal of very useful background even though, in the end, I disagree with the authors’ conclusions. Bootle’s is the least partisan of the two.

Gordon Brown’s challenge is to put a positive slant on the case for Remain, since the main REMAIN tactic has been to emphasise the dire consequences should we leave. By showing how Britain could be even more of a leader in the EU than it is at present, the diet of doomsday predictions is avoided.

Common to all three books is a great deal of historical background. Brown’s book is the one that serves up the most history, no doubt because Brown himself was part of a great many of the historic decisions that have been made about the EU. But for me, the historical background is absolutely critical because without it we are  just counting money and the number of EU laws and neither make much sense outside of a historical context.

Brown makes a powerful case, in his account of the past, for the critical role that Britain has already played in Europe.and makes a good case for strengthening that role in the future.

What would be interesting would be to invite Bootle and North to annotate Brown’s book and vice versa!



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