Too much has been sacrificed to allow Brexit to destroy Europe’s unity

As the anniversaries of D-Day and Monte Cassino approach, we should remember how and why the ‘European project’ started

Shortly after Thursday’s elections for the European parliament, we shall be witnessing the 75th anniversaries of D-Day and of the terrible carnage of the battle of Monte Cassino. One hopes that memories of these events – or, in many cases, learning about them for the first time – may concentrate minds on all sides in the debate about our future relationship with the rest of Europe.

It was the horror of the second world war that led European leaders to bring individual countries together in the hope that future conflict could be avoided. Despite the fantasies of Nigel Farage and his ilk, winning that war was hardly a solo effort on the part of Great Britain. The Americans were an indispensable force in the D-Day landings; Polish forces lost many troops fighting at Monte Cassino. And, of course, the war was won by the allies as a whole, who included the US, Commonwealth countries and, not least, the Soviet Union.

What the Remain cause really requires is for Corbyn to acknowledge that ‘Europe’ is not the enemy of social progress

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