Britain is characterized not just by its independence but, above all, by its openness.
From Caesar's legions to the Napoleonic wars. From the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution to the defeat of nazism. We have helped to write European history, and Europe has helped write ours.
We have the character of an island nation: independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty. We can no more change this British sensibility than we can drain the English Channel. And because of this sensibility, we come to the European Union with a frame of mind that is more practical than emotional.
One of the pleas you get when you're talking to the tourist industry or the energy industry or the whoever is, 'Please, can we just have the same minister for longer than five minutes?'
Laura Bell Bundy