Uncommon Decency
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59. Churchill, Brexit and Europe, with Andrew Roberts

Sir Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, claimed during the 2016 referendum on Brexit that "the last thing on earth Churchill would have been is an isolationist. "Oui”, I think he would have wanted to stay in the EU”. On the other hand, David Davis, the leading pro-Brexit politician, argued that this vision of Churchill as a remainer was in "defiance of history. Winston Churchill”, Davis went on, "saw a very good argument for some sort of a United States of Europe. But he never wanted us, Britain, to be a part of it. That's the key point.” As part of Uncommon Decency’s biographical series on giants of European history, we felt we couldn’t shy away from covering Churchill, having covered Napoleon and Henry Kissinger in episodes 22 and 55, respectively. Churchill's passionate plea for a United States of Europe has been duly acclaimed by historians, but just what place did he envision the UK taking in that post-war European order? To answer that question, we are joined by historian Andrew Roberts, who has written Churchill: Walking with Destiny (2018), a best-selling biography of the former Prime Minister. In addition, Mr. Roberts hosts the Hoover Institution’s Secrets of Statecraft podcast.

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