British popular historian Dan Snow has branded Brexit a “tragedy” contributing to the disintegration of the post-WW2 security system. The remark came under a storm of mockery, with many noting the EU emerged decades after the war.
Snow took to Twitter late on Friday, posting a rather doomsday rant about the UK leaving the European bloc.
“75yrs ago, after history’s bloodiest war, with its genocide & unimaginable brutality, a generation of survivors tried to prevent future war by building institutions to curb assertions of national sovereignty,” he wrote.
The UK forged that. Now we help to dismantle it. Brexit is a tragedy.
The post immediately sparked quite a discussion, as many expressed confusion over how the European Union (EU) – formally established in 1993 under the Maastricht treaty – contributed to Europe’s decades without a war.
The EU came into being on 1 November 1993, 48 years after the end of WWII.
— Arthur_S (@allanholloway) January 1, 2021
NATO would actually be a way more fitting organization for Snow’s rant, others argued. The dreaded Brexit, however, does not affect London’s membership in the alliance.
I know that Mr Snow is usually spot on with his history and I do love some of his work, however BREXIT is about leaving the EU,EEC and single market correct? These were founded in 93 and 57 I believe? NATO and UN founded in 45 & 49. What better fits his described institutions??
— John Carruthers (@JoeCar82793574) January 2, 2021
‘After World War II, Britain played a key role in protecting Western Europe, keeping troops in West Germany and helping to set up Nato’Has NATO gone? Damn, must have missed that? Also must have missed the bit about the EEC and France vetoing UK membership, twice.
— Mark Stuart (@mark_stuart10) January 1, 2021
Some delved a little bit deeper into history, pointing to the EU’s predecessor – the European Economic Community (EEC), established back in 1957.The date of its creation, however, still doesn’t quite match with Snow’s claim, especially since the UK only joined the EEC in 1973.
You do realise that WW2 ended in 1945? And that the British only joined the EEC in 1973? You are supposed to be on top of this sort of thing, Dan.
— Gray Connolly (@GrayConnolly) January 1, 2021
WW2 ended in 1945.UK helped to found the UN the same year.It helped to found NATO in 1949.We haven't left either.
— Bea Johanssen (@bea_johanssen) January 2, 2021
Moreover, attempts at European integration have been primarily economic, other users argued, with neither this, nor the current quasi-state structure of the EU contributing to the decades of peace.
Utter bollocks, Dan. The EU or the EEC before have had zero influence on NATO membership or the role of peacekeeping since WWII. Not one single iota. Curbing "national sovereignty" does not keep the peace.Stick to historical facts, not this bandwagon-jumping supposition.
— David McCowan (@dave_mccowan) January 2, 2021
Historical idiocy. There’s a massive difference between the coal and steel community and post Maastricht EU. No mention of NATO/UN. Sovereignty is democracy, something that is fundamental historically in preventing wars.
— Tristan Lee (@TristanLee92) January 1, 2021
Others rallied in support of Snow, appealing to Winston Churchill’s vision of a united Europe, as well as pointing fingers at the Council of Europe. The latter was created back in 1949, with the UK among its founding members.
Was a dream of Churchill actually. Keep up.
— Nick Salmond (@NickJS) January 1, 2021
There’s a catch, though, as despite a similar name and even logo, the Council is an organization entirely separate from the EU.
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