What people wanted for 1500 years was the Industrial Revolution

It's more than a little odd to see the Archbishop of Canterbury succumbing to a variation of the Whig school of history. To be rude about said school, the one which said that everything good in history led to the English being Top Nation. And that England being Top Nation was thus that peak of history. Here the English are replaced by the EU:

Mr Welby said Brexit was 'only one of a number of challenges that Europe is facing, and may well not be the most serious'. 

'There is no sense in which I suggest that Brexit or other crises currently around will derail the European Union or bring about the downfall of Europe,' he said.

But he effusively praised Brussels, saying: 'The EU has been the greatest dream realised for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. 

'It has brought peace, prosperity, compassion for the poor and weak, purpose for the aspirational and hope for all its people. It has always been challenged and always will.' 

For most of the past 1500 years near all of the people of Europe have been cold, hungry and despairing at seeing one quarter of their children perish before their 5 th birthday. They've also been distinctly less than enthusiastic about European unity- most wars over that period of time include at least one side or the other fighting against the idea.

We have actually solved those heating, hunger and health problems - except in the most tragic and rare circumstances. And it wasn't an organisation founded in 1992 which managed it. Instead it was the Industrial Revolution that did, that rise in wealth brought about by the triple application of technology, capitalism and markets.

Most certainly, Europe is better than it has been for most of that 1500 years. But getting it right about which has achieved that is rather important. For doing so tells us which things we need to keep doing in order to make matters better again. You know, that advancing technology, capitalism and markets. Not whatever political organisation is the very thinnest layer of icing upon that particular cake.