Moreover, geographical proximity has always given Europe its special character, if doing no more than offering a nearby bolthole or new ideas that could simply cross a frontier. Without Protestant Holland, William Tyndale would have had no home to print the Bible in English; the Industrial Revolution was fuelled by exiled scientists and entrepreneurs from all over Europe. The Ukip/Tory story that Britain’s greatness was built on independence from Europe is a fairytale. We are as much part of our continent’s history and evolution, and share its values, as any other European country. Arguably, we are the quintessential Europeans.What he says about the influence of Europe on Britain's development is true but rather undercuts his argument.
William Tyndale fled to the Netherlands because he would have been executed on the orders of the crazed zealot Thomas More, had he remained in England, at the time the Dutch were more tolerant.
Imagine if the EU had existed in the 16th century- all that would have been needed would have been for Thomas More to issue an EU arrest warrant, and he'd have been executed within the month.