In 378AD, a tribe called the Visigoths settled on the borders of the Roman Empire. The Romans allowed them to settle in Europe en mass and little was known about these people. Rather like the EU's Schengen Agreement, which allows for the free movement of people across EU member states, Rome adopted a similar measure with the Visigoths. That turned out to be a grave error. In 382AD, the Visigoths humiliated Rome and defeated them at the Battle of Adrianople. By 410AD, this tribe had come close to sacking Rome. Emperor Honorius vacated the mighty city and withdrew Roman troops from Britain to defend the capital.

The leader of the Visigoths, Alaric, was forced to abandon his invasion due to ill health, otherwise he would have overthrown the Roman Empire sooner.

Free movement should never have been a founding principle of the Single Market

The Visigoths should have acted as an important lesson for the founders of the EU. When the free movement of people was implemented in the 1950s, the then European Coal and Steel Community only consisted of Italy, France, West Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Free movement made sense then as these six countries could collaborate through trade to recover from the Second World War. As this body expanded into the EEC and now the EU, the free movement of people should have been allowed to be decided by individual member states.

It should never have been a founding principle of the Single Market in 1985.

When the refugee crisis started in 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel created an open border policy in Germany and deployed the Schengen Agreement to allow refugees to settle across the continent. This was a profound mistake and showed she learnt nothing from Roman history.

The Visigoths should have reminded her what happens when you allow foreign tribes into your country unchecked. By doing so, Merkel has destroyed both Germany and the EU.

She has weakened her authority

Immigration was a key factor that triggered the Brexit vote last year. The phrase "take back control" chimed with swathes of voters whose communities had been decimated by free movement and the last thing they wanted was more of it being imposed on them by the EU and Ms Merkel.

In 60 years' time, we will witness the true impact of her open border policy, but many of its effects have already been felt. Sweden has been dubbed as the "rape capital" of Europe. Sex attacks have increased in Cologne. The AfD party is now the first far-right movement to break the German political consensus since 1949. And with Brexit set to trigger financial and political turmoil in the EU, this is the beginning of the end of Merkel's federal dream.

Merkel thought she could be the first German leader to dominate the whole continent, but if she also studied the twentieth century, she would've learnt her country always fails to achieve that goal. With the Greens set to disrupt her coalition agreement with the CSU, she has weakened her authority and provided the AfD with motivation to storm upcoming elections. The sad fact is, she is unlikely to be around in the future to witness the significant impact of her failed attempt to transform Europe. Instead, the rest of us will have to pick up the pieces.