When the historians come to write about Brexit they will observe that it took a human lifetime, 70 years, for Germany to resume its traditional role as dominant country in Europe (after WW2).
Although at first its policies appeared classically liberal - fiscal rectitude, free movement of labour, barely-limited Muslim immigration - they naturally aroused resentment amongst the populations of satellite countries within the EU as Germany tried to impose its will across the union.
"Naturally people feared the consequences of a further evolution of German expression of its national interests.
"It was perhaps inevitable that the UK, the second largest economy in the EU and the most semi-detached, would take the logical step of removing itself from satellite status in 2016.
"The emergence of a medium power on the periphery of Europe not structurally dominated by Germany was of interest to major powers such as the US, Russia and China, whose interests sometimes conflicted with those of the new Holy Roman Empire (this phrase, although deprecated in public, was frequently heard in the euro-corridors of power - whereas 'fourth Reich' was unthinkable).
"The resulting pattern of alliances was fascinating .."
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