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Britain and the EU: In or Out? by Financial Times

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A thousand years of history

By Philip Stephens

There are lots of reasons why, to quote Chris Patten, the former UK minister and EU commissioner, Britain has never actually “joined Europe.” History, geography and culture all play their part in British exceptionalism.

The xenophobia we see now in the tabloid, and in some of the broadsheet, press has roots deeper than the nationalities of some of our newspaper proprietors. Most of us were brought up on a nineteenth century version of British – or more properly English – history which was calculated from the outset to define us as different.

The thousand years of history so beloved of Margaret Thatcher and the Eurosceptics ...

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