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Labour used to be the party that saw the folly of leaving the EU

Harold Wilson was not a Europhile, but a clear-eyed realist. Jeremy Corbyn could learn much from the story of the 1975 referendum

What have David Cameron (Tory prime minister, 2010-16), and Harold Wilson (Labour prime minister, 1964-70 and 1974-76) got in common?

Answer: in order to keep their respective parties together, because they were split over “Europe”, each of them called a referendum. Wilson triumphed, and went down in history as a consummate politician, indeed statesman. Cameron failed lamentably, and his mishandling of this vital issue is sometimes described as the biggest prime ministerial disaster brought upon the nation since Lord North …read more

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