Brexit Watch: Nasty Normal Europe
Brexit in all its banal futility shows a return to the normal nastiness of Europe, after a 70-year hiatus of borrowed stability paid for by America.
The big Brexit game is fast approaching its final phase, and no one has done a better job in describing the enormous exercise in unseriousness it remains than former UK Ambassador to the European Union Sir Ivan Rogers. In his recent “Nine Lessons” lecture in Liverpool, Rogers has not quite called Brexit that, but utter unseriousness at the highest level is what his verdict amounts to. “The debate of the last 30 months has suffered from opacity, delusion-mongering and mendacity on all sides,” Rogers said, and it must count as the understatement of the year.
Apart from dissecting the technical, political, personal, and policy details—describing the remaining options until March 29, and the tactical schemes of the Prime Minister, her party, and her opponents—Rogers helps us see that the Brexit endgame also raises a question about the bigger lesson of it all. Brexit is big, but it is, of course, a part of something bigger still. So if this is the verse, what is the chapter?