Robert Tombs

Why is St Paul's Cathedral commemorating a Benin slave trader?

8 March 2022 5:30 pm

The Church of England is rightly sensitive to the evils of slavery and racism. It has announced energetic measures to…

Can Russia ever coexist with the West?

5 March 2022 7:35 pm

Seeing Vladimir Putin’s bloated face and listening to his increasingly unhinged rhetoric makes it tempting to assume that the current…

Cambridge's Jesus College is guilty of double standards

8 February 2022 2:28 am

An event took place in Cambridge last week that was rare enough to reach the national press: a public hearing…

Tony Sewell’s race report critics are guilty of gaslighting

4 April 2021 8:07 pm

The Sewell Report on Race and Ethnic Disparities is courageous, thoughtful and measured. Its relative optimism has triggered a torrent…

The distortion of British history

20 February 2021 7:00 pm

The British Museum has announced the appointment of a curator to study the history of its own collections. On the…

Why Britain chose Brexit

19 December 2020 9:00 am

There was nothing peculiarly British about Brexit

Emmanuel Macron’s great Brexit gamble

15 December 2020 1:13 am

There is an intriguing pattern in our relationship with European integration. A Frenchman vetoed our attempt to join. A Frenchman…

We should not accept Brexit in name only

10 December 2020 1:30 am

Given the seemingly highly technical nature of the current negotiations, members of the public who have normal lives to lead…

Only a ‘good’ Brexit can stop Scottish independence

17 October 2020 9:00 am

Only a ‘good’ Brexit can stop Scottish independence

Coronavirus has exposed the EU’s greatest flaw

12 July 2020 4:00 pm

Politics begins and ends with sovereignty: the duty and right to make the legitimate final decision. We have seen this…

Is Prince Harry really prepared to face up to the Commonwealth's past?

9 July 2020 4:46 pm

When people such as Prince Harry say they want us to face up to the past, do they really mean it?…

11 people who should have statues

14 June 2020 4:02 pm

The Black Lives Matter movement and the ‘Topple the Racists’ campaign have reminded us that monuments in public spaces can…

In defence of the British Empire

8 May 2020 5:00 pm

Is it my imagination, or are the whitened bones of the British Empire being yet again dug up and trampled…

Britain after Brexit: it’s time to decide on our place in the world

11 January 2020 9:00 am

‘Global Britain’: a phrase that provokes mockery and even indignation. As an alternative to EU membership many consider it impossible…

This election will change Britain – and Europe – for good

7 December 2019 9:00 am

This election campaign feels unreal. Commentators focus on spending plans and personal foibles, but what will make next week’s vote…

History holds far fewer lessons for Brexit than both sides think

17 August 2019 9:00 am

How we love bringing history into our political debates. It may seem strange in a country where so little history…

What Sir Ivan Rogers gets wrong about Brexit

6 July 2019 9:00 am

When so much of the Brexit debate has consisted of slogans and unexamined assertions (‘cliff edges’, ‘crashing out’ and the…

Brexit is about renewal, not just leaving the EU. And there’s no time to waste

15 December 2018 9:00 am

None of us can predict the potential fallout from Brexit, good and bad. What began as a vote of confidence…

Anger? Yes. But in another country, leaving the EU would mean bloodshed

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Did any of us, whatever our opinions, expect the level of blustering indignation that has emerged since the 2016 referendum?…

The sensuous thrill of learning to swim in your sixties

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Sharing a plate of oysters with a three-year-old: where could this be but France, where children are brought up not…

The World Cup has made us proud to be English

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Buying fish at Cambridge market on Sunday, I found myself chatting to the fishmonger about the prospects for England in…

Greatness thrust upon him: General de Gaulle in 1940

It took a long time for de Gaulle to become ‘de Gaulle’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

When General de Gaulle published the first volume of his war memoirs in 1954, he signed only four presentation copies:…

Our great universities are struggling – but not because of Brexit

12 May 2018 9:00 am

British universities have serious problems. The recent strikes protesting against a sudden reduction in pension rights were unusually effective, and…

Brexit suggests we’re on the right side of history

16 December 2017 9:00 am

How nice it would be, in this season of good cheer, to find something hopeful to say. Being a historian,…

Michel Barnier (image: Getty)

Lost in translation

21 October 2017 9:00 am

If Michel Barnier and David Davis, in their regular dialogue of the deaf, seem to be inhabiting different mental universes,…