An Englishman whose forebears came from the continent, David Tirr lives in Belgium and is married to an Italian. He considers himself a quintessential European. A British and then European civil servant for most of his working life, he believes that the EU’s common legal basis and closely integrated economy offer the best model to safeguard democratic governance and the advances in human rights which have been achieved since the second world war, at a time of resurgent nativism and right wing political movements which instrumentalise it. David Tirr is the author of the 2014 novel “A Short History of England 2020-2089” which foreshadows some of the issues raised in this think piece. Click HERE to read policy insights from David Tirr.