Brexit or Remain – the Case for Europe from a Seventeenth Century Perspective


JohnDonneIf you’re in the UK you’ll currently be in the middle of the debate raging about our participation in Europe. Here’s some thoughts from the Seventeenth Century that I think are particularly pertinent.

“No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee…”

I think John Donne‘s words eloquently state a case for internationalism.

Is the UK a clod in this metaphor?

2 thoughts on “Brexit or Remain – the Case for Europe from a Seventeenth Century Perspective”

  1. I absolutely agree; vote to leave was a sad day for Britain and Europe. We need to be outward-looking and embrace difference and relationships, not an insular island state. All Remainers should consider signing the parliamentary petition requesting a second referendum!

  2. If anyone reading this lives in the Oxford area and wishes to attend, there is a pro-EU rally on Broad Street in Oxford, today, Tuesday 28th June, at 5.30 pm!


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