The Guardian, February 3, 2018
OPINION: BRITAIN'S IMPERIAL FANTASIES HAVE GIVEN US BREXIT
By Gary Younge
As Theresa May is discovering, the UK’s overblown sense of its place in the world has led to overplaying our hand with the EU
In his recent book Behind Diplomatic Lines, Patrick Wright, a former head of the UK diplomatic service, provides an illuminating account of Margaret Thatcher’s worldview. The former British premier wanted South Africa to be a “whites-only state”, and believed the Vietnamese boat people should be pushed into the sea before they reached Hong Kong. In addition, the late prime minister was particularly gripped by “Germanophobia”.
“She seems to be obsessed by a feeling that German-speakers are going to dominate the [European] community,” Wright writes. “Any talk of German reunification is anathema to her.” At one point it got so bad that the former foreign secretary Douglas Hurd claimed: “Cabinet now consists of three items: parliamentary affairs, home affairs and xenophobia.”
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