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.
The next ten days will bring to a head the Brexit drama. It has strained the UK’s constitution, threatened its social cohesion, terrified its businesses, appalled its friends, and delighted its enemies.
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.