4 January 2022
The UK was able to exert significant influence through that medium, but it was the creation of the Single Market – frankly, a British, or we like to think, a British invention – that leveraged the value of Europe for the UK. [...] Since this is a document of record, I should record that when I joined the Government in 2010, I would have described myself as a Eurosceptic, meaning not that I was looking for Britain to leave the European Union but that I was looking for Britain to use its influence to curb the growth and extension of power of the European Union. [...] The King of the Belgians had to suffer the humiliation of having to stand for the European anthem to be played, in his own country, before the Belgian national anthem was played. [...] When I arrived in Washington, it was to discover that the pound was in free-fall, on the back of the Prime Minister’s speech and the market’s reaction to it. [...] I spent a lot of time and effort seeking to persuade David of the case for a transition and then of the logic that, if we wanted to be able to have a transition, we had to have a general election in 2017 off the back of the Prime Minister’s bow wave of popularity and secure a five-year mandate.