New Statesman cover | 21 November

A sneak preview of tomorrow's New Statesman cover.


Highlights include:

The myth of the Fourth Reich

Richard J Evans, Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge and author of the Third Reich trilogy, describes the "spectre of history" looming over Europe and Germany's role in the eurozone crisis - but argues that this has less to do with Nazism than with the economic trauma of the 1920s:

Books of the Year

Public figures including Rowan Williams, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls, Martha Nussbaum and Melvyn Bragg tell us what they've been reading this year.

Jemima Khan: Letter from Lahore

In her first column as associate editor of the New Statesman, Jemima Khan reports on her recent trip to Pakistan, where US drone strikes have exacted a horrible civilian death toll.

Evgeny Lebedev: Elton John's fury, my father's punch and mini-me

In the NS Diary, the chairman of Independent Print and Evening Standard Ltd, Evgeny Lebedev, writes that the Leveson inquiry "must not be allowed to shackle" the free press, arguing: "I know what an unfree press looks like and wouldn't recommend it."

Christopher Hitchens: "His Rolls-Royce mind is still purring"

George Eaton reports on the recent tribute evening to Christopher Hitchens, including contributions from Ian McEwan, Sean Penn, Martin Amis and Hitchens himself.

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PMQs review: Theresa May shows again that Brexit means hard Brexit

The Prime Minister's promise of "an end to free movement" is incompatible with single market membership. 

Theresa May, it is commonly said, has told us nothing about Brexit. At today's PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn ran with this line, demanding that May offer "some clarity". In response, as she has before, May stated what has become her defining aim: "an end to free movement". This vow makes a "hard Brexit" (or "chaotic Brexit" as Corbyn called it) all but inevitable. The EU regards the "four freedoms" (goods, capital, services and people) as indivisible and will not grant the UK an exemption. The risk of empowering eurosceptics elsewhere is too great. Only at the cost of leaving the single market will the UK regain control of immigration.

May sought to open up a dividing line by declaring that "the Labour Party wants to continue with free movement" (it has refused to rule out its continuation). "I want to deliver on the will of the British people, he is trying to frustrate the British people," she said. The problem is determining what the people's will is. Though polls show voters want control of free movement, they also show they want to maintain single market membership. It is not only Boris Johnson who is pro-having cake and pro-eating it. 

Corbyn later revealed that he had been "consulting the great philosophers" as to the meaning of Brexit (a possible explanation for the non-mention of Heathrow, Zac Goldsmith's resignation and May's Goldman Sachs speech). "All I can come up with is Baldrick, who says our cunning plan is to have no plan," he quipped. Without missing a beat, May replied: "I'm interested that [he] chose Baldrick, of course the actor playing Baldrick was a member of the Labour Party, as I recall." (Tony Robinson, a Corbyn critic ("crap leader"), later tweeted that he still is one). "We're going to deliver the best possible deal in goods and services and we're going to deliver an end to free movement," May continued. The problem for her is that the latter aim means that the "best possible deal" may be a long way from the best. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.