James Forsyth James Forsyth

How the terms of debate on Europe changed

The website of the new Centre for British Influence through Europe reveals just how far on the back foot the pro-Europeans are. Its introductory article states:

‘It is also wrong that the other extreme think that they own the European flag in their belief that the only future is full on in.’

This is a major concession by the pro-European forces. It is strikingly different from the Britain in Europe message that this country must join the single currency and be at the heart of Europe.

Now pretty much everyone accepts that Britain isn’t going to join the Euro and isn’t going to pursue ever closer union with the rest of the European Union. The debate is about how much looser Britain’s relationship with the other EU member states should become.

We should all be grateful to those who campaigned to keep the pound against the political class consensus. They have changed the parameters of national debate.

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