The Week

Leading article

A vote of confidence

During the referendum campaign, it seemed at times as if a competition was on to issue the most hyperbolic claim of what might happen should the British public vote to leave the European Union. Now politicians and commentators are competing to come up with the most hysterical assessment of the British decision to leave. Leading

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 30 June 2016

Home David Cameron, standing in the middle of Downing Street with his wife Samantha alone near him, announced his resignation as prime minister after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union by 17,410,742 votes (51.9 per cent) to 16,141,241 (48.1), with a turnout of 72.2 per cent. The result surprised the government. Mr


Diary – 30 June 2016

Referendum day is as nondescript and wet as the day before, happily spent in Cambridge at my son’s Leo’s graduation. Even here the coming vote intrudes. Some students say that the master of Trinity College has come out for Brexit. Leo’s boyfriend Eddie, newly graduated in German studies and about to head to a job

Ancient and modern

Rome’s Hilton

A traitor to one man is a hero to another. So debate rages around the role of David Cameron’s old friend and adviser Steve Hilton — is he a noble Brutus who saved parliamentary democracy by throwing in his lot with Leave, or the traitor who destroyed Cameron’s European dream? A foundational story of Rome


Barometer | 30 June 2016

Repeat until fade More than three million voters disappointed by the result of the EU referendum have signed a petition demanding a re-run. — They may have in mind the Danish referendum on the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, rejected by 50.7% of voters. A year later, after exemptions were offered to Denmark, the country voted

From the archives

Preparing for peacetime

From ‘Preparation for peace’, The Spectator, 1 July 1916: All industrial development relies in the last resort upon human energy, and the amount of human energy existing in this country has been enormously stimulated by the war. The country is awake, and will remain awake. But this readiness of every man and every woman to


Letters | 30 June 2016

A rational vote Sir: There has been a lot of bile poured out about those who voted Leave by the Remainers. Their intelligence, their racial tolerance and their general moral standing has been called into question. I was a Remain voter, but live in an area that was 69 per cent Leave, and work with