The issues of sovereignty, a costly self-appointed bureaucracy on the Continent and a break with the European status quo.

Sounds familiar in the lead up to Brexit? Think again.

These were the headlines in the early 16th century when Henry VIII led the last campaign to leave Europe.

That was in 1534. Only the target was Rome, not Brussels.

There were protracted and fruitless negotiations in both cases. Back then, there were the attempts to seek papal approval for the annulment of the king’s marriage. Today, it’s all about getting the EU countries to limit the free movement of labour.

The campaign of 1534 shaped England and much of what we are seeing today.

Significantly however, Theresa May’s government has no EU assets to pillage.

That’s in contrast to Henry’s seizure of church land equal to almost a third of the country.

All of this is summed up in the Henry Tudor Twitter account @KngHenryVIII

#Brexit is your way of saying “I want you back.” I get it, England. Shhh. We don’t need words. Let me hold you.

Change means opportunity. My1534 #Brexit gave monks the opportunity to be killed in horrible ways & I the opportunity to take their things.

I didn’t ruin the fun of my Brexit in 1534 by putting it to a bloody peasants vote.

]My Brexit in 1534 resulted in:

– uprisings

– beggars
– burnt Papists
– my shiny new church
– weddings/beheadings
– Sexy scenes in The Tudors

Life and politics then was about as unpleasant as it now