Martin Kettle sees a silver lining in the current Brexit mess, emphasis added.
Today, the Berlin-based European Council on Foreign Relations published research showing British attitudes towards the European project have become more positive over the past decade. The UK is second only to Finland in feeling increasingly European. The 2016 referendum may have done more for our European consciousness than all the preceding years of neglect.
The one big plus of the past five months is that British voters have become much better informed about Europe and have thought more deeply about the issues. Last month’s march and parliamentary petitions showed the effect. So did the quality of those long House of Commons debates. There seems little doubt about the direction in which public opinion is gradually moving. These European elections could reflect it. It is time to be more confident again about Britain’s place in Europe. It’s time to go for it.
My gut tells me it’s too early for optimism. But if this came to pass, Brexiters may have kicked one of the most spectacular political own goals in recent history.