The Unit is increasingly spotting covenantal credentials on Whitehall as much as in the Commons.

In his ‘Mais Lecture’ the Chancellor set the record straight on Adam Smith’s oft misunderstood ‘invisible hand’.

Smiths account of the market economy, is not as some have suggested a values free construct which rationalised social choice. Markets do not operate independently of societies; rather they are reliant on law and norms, to generate the crucial currency of trust.

In a recent tribute to the late Richard Shepherd (former MP for Aldridge-Brownhills), Sir William Cash recalled the ‘intensely emotional experience’ whenever hearing Shepherd address the House of Commons.

Cash quoted Shepherd’s powerful remarks in Shepherd’s own Private Members Referendum Bill of 1992.

I belong to a union—the Union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is a political allegiance which I gladly give. It is one of sentiment, one of passion, one which has been fashioned over the course of centuries. That is to be set aside because the Treaty of Union seeks to make me a citizen of elsewhere. I would be a citizen with a profound and essential difference: I could not control the laws, in whole areas, by which I would be governed.”—[Official Report, 21 February 1992; Vol. 204, c. 581.]

Whatever your opinion of Brexit, political alliances must not be merely utilitarian but honour the instincts of the people too.

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