Brexiters rejoiced as May commenced the two-year process to leave the EU – but an immediate fuss about Gibraltar’s sovereignty reminded everyone that negotiations may not run smoothly
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We understand that there will be consequences for the UK of leaving the EU. We know that we will lose influence over the rules that affect the European economy. We know that UK companies that trade with the EU will have to align with rules agreed by institutions of which we are no longer a part, just as we do in other overseas markets. We accept that.
There are so many things in the world which affect the number of people coming to the UK.
Britain has always oscillated and yo-yoed with Europe. These attempts by the English, the British, to get around the geography of Europe and reach around the continent have ended up not working.
Is Brexit a rejection of 950 years? In a way, yes, it’s a nativist rejection of foreign, supranational force, but ultimately it’s doomed to failure.
A version of the same resistance to continental encroachment that fired Henry VIII’s break with Rome 500 years ago has triumphed again. Out in the country, much as in 1973 or even 1534, people got on with life as usual. If they were delighted or anxious, they mostly didn’t show it. There were no crowds in the streets this time and no celebrations or protests to speak of either. People kept their feelings quiet. Trains ran. The stock market was unmoved. Rain came in from the west. As usual, a million people went to the doctor.