I have just been to a long and interesting discussion organised by Royal Holloway’s Centre for Public History and chaired by Sarah Dunant about the cultural consequences of a vote to leave the EU. I was interested in the long historical perspective, beginning with Stella Tillyard’s reference to the fact that the first prehistoric man was migratory. As someone pointed out at the end, there was surprisingly little reference to the legacy of Greece and Rome or the unifying effect of medieval Christianity, but plenty to the fluidity of medieval borders and the fact that the Anglo-Saxons came from Germany and the Baltic and the Normans from France, and that we used to own not just Calais, but a lot of south-west France. Caroline Moorhead talked about the benefits that the Huguenots had brought to British culture. Out of the discussion came a sense of the gigantic benefits of postwar co-operation, the free movement of people within the EU, of travel, cultural exchange and tourism, and migration. So, although it is hard to quantify or list the precise consequences of disaffiliation, there will be an inevitable move towards isolationism and a loss of a belief in the possibilities of a united, peaceful and cosmopolitan Europe which has been so important to our culture since the second world war.