If you read the opening passage of Douglas Hurd's book on #Sir Robert Peel, you will notice a tribute from David #Cameron acknowledging his contribution to making the Tory Party electable after defeat in 1832, a humiliation almost as devastating as the party's 1997 defeat.
Cameron, like Peel, had to ensure the Conservative Party was electable again. Both men presided over issues which divided the party. For Peel, it was the #Corn Laws, and for Cameron, it was the European Union.
Except the Corn Laws were bravely repealed by Cameron's inspiration, even if it resulted in the Conservative Party failing to achieve a sufficient majority almost thirty years later.
Perhaps the former Witney MP wanted to avoid that mistake by backing Stronger In, but it seems that despite Brexit, the current parliamentary party is far more united and electable than Peel's Conservative Party was, mostly thanks to weak opposition.
And like with the repeal of the Corn Laws, Brexit is predicted to deliver the same types of trading opportunities that made Britain a successful trading nation in the nineteenth century once the Corn Laws were repealed.
It's true what they say; history is doomed to repeat itself by those who fail to learn from it. The Corn Laws and the EU may not have been the same problem, but it is clear the Conservative Party only succeeds when it is bold and united in casting aside its differences over issues that cast a dark shadow over Britain's ability to succeed, not by engulfing itself in a thirty year civil war.