Sir, – I was amused that an article lambasting Brexit as an expression of some delusional English exceptionalism should be signed by a professor of German, Nicholas Boyle (“Brexit is a collective English mental breakdown”, Opinion & Analysis, January 17th). One can reasonably assume that a man with such a position is a lifelong Germanophile.
Many people would think that Germany has more questions to answer when it comes to an inability to believe that their neighbours are people of equal value. Certainly most people over a certain age in eastern and southern Europe would be of that opinion.
That’s all in the past, it might be argued, but is it really? Despite the fact that Greeks work about 10 hours a week more than the average German, Germany’s politicians queue up to condemn their supposed Mediterranean laziness. It is only a few years ago since a respected German broadsheet published an article rejecting parallels between the forgiveness of German national debt in 1953 and the current situation of Greece, on the grounds that Germany’s postwar debts were not its own fault!
England has its faults, but it is very far from being the most deludedly self-regarding nation in Europe. – Yours, etc,