Maurice Druon, an author, ex-culture minister and grandee of the Académie Française, holder of an honorary knighthood for services to Anglo-French relations, said: "What Britain and Europe want of the EU is quite different. You want an open market, whereas the rest of us want Europe to evolve as a strong power, not just economically but diplomatically and strategically, too."
"Shouldn't we draw the consequences and ask whether it wouldn't be to everyone's advantage, Britain's included, for them to leave the EU's political institutions and take the status of privileged partner?
"You cannot stay indefinitely both in and out. If a friend cannot raise this question, who else will dare to pose it?"
The old man he speaks sense, and finding myself agreeing with a French intellectual is a shock to the system this early in the morning.