In the magazine this week, The Spectator has urged its readers to back Brexit. In our leading article, The Spectator says that the European Union is making the people of our continent poorer, and less free and that the EU has started to deform our Government. When the country last held a referendum on Europe, ever newspaper in the country advocated a 'Yes' vote, apart from two: the Morning Star and The Spectator. And since then, our leader says this week, the EU has 'mutated exactly as we feared'. So why is it now time to 'abandon this vain mission' and walk away from the EU? On a special edition of the podcast, Isabel Hardman is joined by The Spectator's editor Fraser Nelson to explain the reasoning behind the decision. On the podcast, which you can listen to using the player above, Fraser says:
'There wasn't really any doubt about where The Spectator would be given that we've been for Brexit since 1975. We've been consistently, as a publication, sceptical about the claims made - not just in the last referendum, but when the Exchange Rate Mechanism came along and there was this crazy idea to link our interest rates and have them set by the Bundesbank. Only The Spectator argued against it: everybody else was for it. We've seen the illogic of that position played out with the single currency. So we didn't really agonise that long about what to say in our leader. The editorial decision we've been taking week in, week out is how to make sure our readers get the best side of both debates.'
Also on the podcast, Nick Cohen, who has a rather different take on the EU referendum, joins Fraser and Isabel to discuss. He says in his article in the magazine this week that the Leave campaign should be hoping they don't win - because when voters discover the consequences of abandoning common sense, it won't be themselves that they blame. On the podcast, he tells Isabel:
'I think if Brexit wins you'll find your neck is hideously exposed. It is a beautifully-written, beautifully argued leader. I think it's horribly wrong.'
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