An academic who is seen as a major authority on the recent financial crisis has claimed that Winston Churchill may have voted UKIP were he still alive today.
Professor Johan Lybeck, who is author of ‘A Global History of the Financial Crash of 2007-10’ said in a letter to the Financial Times that “the Hypothesis most certainly cannot be excluded” that Churchill would have “ratted” on his party – the Conservatives – and voted UKIP.
Responding to comments by German Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann that Winston Churchill would want Britain to stay in the European Union, Professor Lybeck quotes a speech the wartime Prime Minister made in Zürich in 1946:
“We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing…
“I am now going to say something that will astonish you. The first step in the re-creation of the European family must be a partnership between France and Germany. In this way only can France recover the moral and cultural leadership of Europe. There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany…
However, Churchill then indicates that, while Britain should be friendly with the project, it should not be directly involved:
“In this urgent work France and Germany must take the lead together. Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America – and, I trust, Soviet Russia, for then indeed all would be well – must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live. Therefore I say to you ‘Let Europe arise!'”
Professor Lybeck says it is therefore “eminently clear” from this that Churchill wanted Britain “watching with approval from the sidelines” as France and Germany built a new order on the European continent.
Lybeck also says that he doubts Churchill would have taken Britain into the EU as it would compromise the Special Relationship with America.
Professor Lybeck has been professor of economics at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Stockholm, as well as serving as an independent consultant for 25 years.
He has also held positions at Swedbank Treasury division, been president and CEO of SwedeSettle and was Chief Economist at Matteus Bank.