Ward, Stuart: Brexit wounds

Ward, Stuart

Brexit wounds‘, The Monthly, June 2016 updated

On the eve of the vote in Britain, the author looks at the history of Australian attitudes towards British attitudes and actions towards Europe. ‘Whatever the fallout’, the author concludes, ‘it seems unlikely that Australia stands unaffected by the outcome’.

This seems a remarkably level-headed conclusion, considering previous versions of the Australia-Britain-Europe story. The author of this note, still in primary school in Australia when Britain first started considering joining the Common Market in 1960, vividly recalls gaining the impression from family discussion that Edward Heath, the minister in charge of negotiations, was somehow related to Adolf Hitler in terms of the damage he was trying to do to loyal Australia. Fortunately for us, Charles de Gaulle vetoed that bid in 1963. Here we are again, more than 50 years later, with Britain going the other way.

And then …

David Hayes in Inside Story on the view after the vote; and again. Yes Minister had a premonition in 1980. Going back even further, Enoch Powell had a thing about ‘rivers of blood’ – and that was provoked by immigration from the Queen’s Commonwealth.

John Menadue’s blog, Pearls and Irritations, had a collection of Brexit pieces, from Jon Stanford, Ian McAuley and Michael Keating. Saul Eslake in Inside Story.

David Stephens

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