For many UK patriots, Sir Winston Churchill is the face of Great Britain, having led our nation through its darkest hour during the Second World War. But during the Brexit referendum, there was much debate over what his views on leaving the European Union would have been. Now noted Churchill historian Richard Toye has weighed in on what Britain’s most famous prime minister would likely have believed on the matter.
Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, Professor Toye pointed out that Churchill’s 1946 Zurich speech offers some evidence on what he believed about Britain’s future involvement in Europe post-WWII.
The University of Exeter historian said: “He did at least contemplate the idea that Britain might eventually be a member of the United States of Europe.”
After all, there’s this idea that Churchill wanted Britain, the USA and the USSR to be friends and sponsors of the new Europe, but did that imply sitting on the side line?
Toye continued: “One the other hand I do think that Churchill was in favour of British membership of the Council of Europe.”
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Professor Toye has two new Churchill books out this month.
The first is called Winston Churchill: A Life in the News, which looks at the historical figure as a journalist, plus his image in the media and the way that has changed overtime.
For example, in Edwardian cartoons he was caricatured wearing a tiny hat, long before the cigar-chomping image he is best known for became mainstream.
And thirdly, the book looks at Churchill’s efforts to influence the media, particularly during World War II, from attempting to control coverage to shaping his own image.
The historian has also co-written The Churchill Myths.
Although he says it is not technically a book about Winston Churchill.
Instead it examines the way in which his memory has been used by other people, including Boris Johnson.
Winston Churchill: A Life in the News and The Churchill Myths are both out now.