At the time when the were stifling China’s prosperity with centralised bureaucratic tyranny, backward Europe was transformed into the world’s most innovative and wealthy continent. It did so precisely by not being unified and centralised: by being a quilt of different countries so that entrepreneurs, inventors and artists could shop around for a congenial regime, as David Hume was the first to argue. . . .
In harmonisation lies stagnation: innovation comes from variety. Britain must not be afraid to be different: to offer alternative opportunities, smarter regulation, divergent priorities. That is not a hostile act toward the European Union: it would be good for them too. In differentiation lies the chance to experiment and find opportunities for mutual gains, mutual recognition and mutual respect.
-Matthew Ridley, from this post