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I can wholeheartedly endorse two of Mr Fearnley’s words – the first two. After that I thought he went a little off the rails.

One casts what seems to be a just and not particularly ferocious general aspersion on the pro-European habit of personal insult, and straightaway Mr Fearnley, in the spurious name of a more than even handed justice, has assimilated that reflection to such “unthinking jibes” as the “swivel eyes”, “nasty narrowmindedness” and "hidebound selfish parochialism" which bubble up so readily into the minds and lips of disgruntled Remaindermen. Oh dear!

As for the relative taste for wild exaggeration, the best that Mr Fearnley’s eagle-eyed equity has been able to come up with on the Brexit side is the single old chestnut about £350 million for the NHS – which surely even he will concede paled into insignificance when set against the world wars, economic disasters and expropriations of pensions once promised by the British and Brussels Establishments for 24th June?

Of course the more canny prophets, like Mr F himself, now pretend that they merely meant that these things would, or could, or might happen in some distant future when “Brexit” was finally achieved. But that is not what they said at the time, and was clearly not the message they intended to convey to the masses. Mr Fearnley speaks blithely of the “decades after that”. When our meteorologists cannot even predict tomorrow’s weather and when our economics experts got ERM and Euro membership so dismally wrong, I think perhaps we can leave the year 2050 to take care of itself.

Now, once again, I do sincerely wish Mr Fearnley and Europhiles of goodwill a prosperous and less blinkered new year. I recommend to them a reading of Booker and North’s Great Deception. I urge them to consider whether “ever-closer union” really does mean the “cooperation of democratic states” which they would like it to mean. I invite them to at least ask themselves the question whether a “Union” of which the British people (without ever being consulted in the matter) were made “citizens” may not justly demand – and demand increasingly as time goes on – obedience and allegiance, with all the unwelcome possibilities those duties entail? And I’d invite them to speculate as to the probability of a sovereignty over which we have no democratic control and which is essentially an organization for Power continuing indefinitely to behave on the international stage in a way which the most bien-pensant and liberal-minded peace lover (I mean such a person as Mr Fearnley, Mr David Crawford or myself) will cordially approve.

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