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How the Brexit Election Was Reduced to Trivia

No One Wants to Talk About the Real Question Looming Over the Ballot

Prime Minister Boris Johnson uses a sewing machine in Matlock, United Kingdom, December, 2019 Hannah McKay / Reuters

Days before the United Kingdom heads to the polls for its most consequential election in a generation, the lead stories on the country’s two most-read newspaper websites summed up the pettiness of British politics. “Boris Johnson denies joking about Donald Trump at NATO reception and not taking him seriously,” cried The Guardian in a reference to the prime minister’s appearance in a video that appeared to show world leaders deriding the U.S. president at the recent NATO summit. “You don’t watch the Queen’s Speech, do you Jeremy Corbyn?” the Daily Mail screamed in response to the Labour leader’s unwillingness to confirm whether he sat down with his family to watch the monarch’s annual televised Christmas Day address.

The election on December 12 is a choice between two very different—and very radical—visions of what the United Kingdom should be. The opposition Labour Party

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