Brexit is more than financial: it’s a divorce from history and inspiration. For me and many other journalists, it’s personal

We know it’s the most visceral issue in contemporary British politics. We know it turns redtops into attack dogs and Tory backbenchers puce with rage. The ides of May. So we ought to know that it’s personal. Individual and personal. Europe isn’t just one more tick on some routine policy list. It is history and emotion … even for newspaper editors.

Take me: and one personal route. I grew up in the east Midlands through the 40s and 50s. Sundays featured a grandparents’ vigil at the local Baptist church. Holidays featured Hunstanton and Skegness. Europe? Well, there was always the Hotel de Paris, Cromer. It was a warm, loving family time (scarred by my father’s death and my polio). But there were no far horizons. I look at my grandchildren now – veterans long before they left school of south-east Asia, America, Europe from Norway to Romania; three of them Spanish in Barcelona – and pinch myself. Their worlds began early at Heathrow or El Prat. My world ended at Dover.

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