‘Europe is coming apart before our eyes’: 30 leading historians and writers including Ian McEwan and Simon Schama warn of the rise of populism ahead of Brexit

Saturday, January 26, 2019
By Paul Martin

Signatories bemoaned the Brexit process, saying Europe has been ‘abandoned’
Document drafted by Marx-influenced French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy
‘We must now fight for the idea of Europe or see it perish’, the document stated

By LEIGH MCMANUS
DAILYMAIL.COM
26 January 2019

A group of leading intellectuals from 21 countries have said that liberal values in Europe face a challenge ‘not seen since the 1930s’ as the UK heads towards Brexit.

In a manifesto published in several newspapers, the 30 intellectuals including award-winning novelist Ian McEwan, stated that Europe is at risk of ‘perishing beneath the waves of populism’.

The signatories bemoaned the Brexit process, saying that Europe has been ‘abandoned from across the Channel’.

The letter comes amid rising tension across Europe, with protests raging in France, Germany in the midst of far right tensions and immigration placing a huge strain on the continent.

The 800-word document was drafted by the French Marxist philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy.

English historian Simon Schama was among the high profile names to back the document.

Salman Rushdie was also a signatory. He told The Guardian : ‘Europe is in greater danger now than at any time in the last 70 years, and if one believes in that idea it’s time to stand up and be counted.

‘In the UK, I hope parliament may yet have the courage to call for a second referendum. That could rescue the country from the calamity of Brexit and go a long way towards rescuing the EU as well.’

McEwan told The Guardian that he was ‘very pessimistic’ about Brexit, but hopeful the ‘zeitgeist’ would turn.

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