With four weeks to go, the UK is experiencing not only its most important election in living memory, but its most unpredictable—and one in which a minority of voters could impose Brexit on the majority.
Brexit could wreck Britain’s centuries-old character of alternating rule by large, ideologically capacious parties. If so, the irony is that British politics will end up resembling politics in much of the rest of Europe.
Boris Johnson could end up being the English leader who allowed the breakup of the UK to achieve Brexit. There are lessons in the dissolution of two other unions, the USSR and Czechoslovakia, and the role played by Boris Yeltsin and Václav Klaus.
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.