Britain, the Six and the World Economy
The European Community and 1992
Britain in the New Europe
Europe's Endangered Liberal Order
The Importance of Being English: Eyeing the Sceptered Isles
What If the British Vote No?
The End of Europe?
Letter From London: One Market, Many Peoples
Will the Crash Scuttle the European Project?
Saving the Euro, Dividing the Union
Could Europe's Deeper Integration Push the United Kingdom Out?
The New British Politics
What the UKIP Victory and the Scottish Referendum Have in Common
The United Kingdom’s Retreat From Global Leadership
Should It Stay or Should It Go?
The Brexistential Crisis
Putting a Safety Valve on Democracy
The Conservative Case Against Brexit
Euroskepticism's Biggest Fallacy
Why Brexit Would Benefit Europe
The Pragmatic Case for Brexit
The New Divided Kingdom
A Brexit Post-Mortem
Life After Brexit
Brexit's False Democracy
What the Vote Really Revealed
The Roots of Brexit
1992, 2004, and European Union Expansion
The Irish Question
The Consequences of Brexit
Scotland After Brexit
Will It Leave the United Kingdom?
The Swiss Model
Why It Won't Work for the United Kingdom
NATO After Brexit
Will Security Cooperation Work?
A Brexiteer's Celebration
A Conversation with Kwasi Kwarteng
A Remainer’s Lament
A Conversation With Ed Balls
May's Brexit Mastery
Time for the United Kingdom to Move On
The quadrennial excitement of the Euro soccer competition, the green lawns of Wimbledon, and the racetrack at Silverstone provided three weeks of distraction from the consequences of the United Kingdom’s June 23 referendum. Prime Minister David Cameron was resigning, yes, but nothing would happen until his successor was in place, and it would take months for the country’s political parties, all in crisis, to select new leaders. Some supporters of staying in the European Union fancied using the lull to hold a second referendum to confirm the first, which was not binding. Demoralizing threats kept coming—from George Soros, from the IMF, from others—about the cost of withdrawal. Even the pro-Brexit camp seemed suddenly confused about the economic benefits of leaving the EU. Many started to imagine a withdrawal from the union pushed to such a distant future that it would never actually happen.
Time accelerated on July 12, though, when Tory Home Secretary Theresa May surged to the position of prime minister and declared unreservedly that she would implement Brexit. Her instincts may have been against it, but she promised that she would honor the vote and that she would be able to turn Brexit into a favorable arrangement for Britain. It was a stroke of political genius, first because the United Kingdom is a democracy and the vote ought to be acknowledged, and second because negotiations with the EU could be relatively easy and mutually beneficial.
The results of the Brexit referendum have opened the doors of power to May, an unsentimental politician with a career that reminds one of a Supreme Court judge—a role in which one displays competency without giving offense. In the campaign leading to the referendum, for example, she notoriously favored the United Kingdom’s remaining in the EU but declined to burn political capital by defending her position. She is now similarly poised to give Britons their “exit” cake and allow them to eat the “remain” too.
Here, it is worth looking
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