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It appears from this discussion that those who seek to criticise Mr Soames elect to do so by disparaging the country he has chosen to live and practise in or by attacking him at a personal level ('spiritually dead', etc). If that is the best that people in the legal profession (whose basic skills are supposed to include the dispassionate marshaling of evidence and deployment of rational argument) then the shame is on the critics rather than Mr Soames.

The trouble is that this is not an isolated indulgence on the part of those who hanker after the brave new world of Brexit. Since the vote in June, and particularly around the outcome of the High Court decision in the Article 50 case, various comment threads have focused on Brexit, and the Brexiteers have consistently sought to disparage those with a more pro-EU outlook as anti-democratic 'Remoaners'. Get over it, we are told, Brexit is going to happen, so suck it up. They ignore or gloss over the real concerns that are expressed and the difficulties to which attention is drawn, with vague pronouncements that everything is going to be all right. Here we have a concrete example of how things may not be as rosy as the Brexiteers wish, around difficulties that UK lawyers will face in the future when dealing with a UK-less EU. But their response is not to analyse the situation and explain how UK lawyers might meet this new challenge; instead they seek to shoot the messenger and put their fingers in their ears.

Maybe, as Mr Crawford comments at the beginning of this thread, the EU as a whole will not last much longer. But if that turns out to be the case, then (a) 'perfidious Albion' will be seen as the chief architect of its downfall, and (b) I fail to see how a Europe composed once again of unallied, separate and rival nation states can be to the benefit of any individual European country (including the UK), or the world as a whole for that matter. It is one thing to see the need for on-going reform in the institutions of the EU, it is quite another to overthrow the whole of a system that, for all its imperfections, has kept the principal nations of Europe at peace for the last 70 years and provided a moderating and liberal, economic and political presence on the world stage.

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