“What victory for Leave means for Britain is debatable. But Europe without its brightest star will certainly be a darker place. This result was avoidable. Britain going it alone mirrors a wider distrust in the European project, which is a manifestation of weak economic growth. Had reforms begun earlier, and if ever-looser monetary policy hadn’t made it easy to avoid difficult decisions, the European Union would be more prosperous and attractive to voters today.
Britain and Europe still need each other. Brussels should therefore resist any pressure to inflict punitive measures on Britain as a warning to other member states. This must be the most amicable of divorces, with each side cooperating maturely and without rancor. Britain needs a strong and vibrant Europe, to which 45 per cent of its exports end up. Europe needs Britain’s creativity and worldliness. Both need each other for their long term security, too.”