How others view decision

I've just had 10 days in France and North Italy. As I was wearing my EU/UK badge, I got Brexit chat '“ three types.

Sunday, 27th May 2018, 9:00 am

My summaries may be useful to readers who discuss more vigorously than this octogenarian. You’ll have your own responses and won’t need mine.

1. The group’s Leavers were polite, but firm.

“Bureaucratic gravy train.”; “Under the EU we only produce 10 per cent of our food. Alone, we’ll produce 60-80 per cent.”; ”We signed up for economic stuff, not this supranational guff.”; “We decided, so you should support us.”; “We stood alone – we don’t need change and outsiders.”

2. Anglophones from the developed world thought the UK was mad.

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“You’re turning selfish and racist.”; ”We trade with you in the EU and we’ll continue if you leave, but new agreements will take time and, having less clout, you’ll lose.”; “You weaken those resisting authoritarian nationalists like Putin, Erdogan, Orban and Trump.”; “I’m sorry for you Brits.”

3. Citizens from other EU states were saddened and puzzled.

“We’ll miss you. For all your faults, for two centuries you have helped lead us through so much – through agricultural, industrial and even data revolutions; through wars and reconstructions; through continuing struggles for the values of peace, democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression and a fair deal for ordinary people. Now, just as all this is threatened and we stumble, you leave us. Worse, you seem to be losing those values yourselves.”

Peter Watts