Bully for Brexit


In just over a year, the United Kingdom will formally depart the European Union. While this has obviously created a huge rift between Britain and the mainland, as Aristotle observed, "a common danger unites even the bitterest of enemies." Moscow's recent escalation of deadly Cold War spycraft in London should remind Britain and her European allies who their real friends and foes are, which may help smooth the Brexit process.

Depending what political bubble you live in, Brexit represents either a welcome restoration of sovereignty and democracy, or a disastrous revival of protectionism laced with ethnic nationalism. Either way, it's a unique opportunity to chart a new course for Britain. The result matters not just for Europe, but for the whole world. As US President Donald Trump escalates his assault on the international trade system, the way Britain redefines its relationship with Europe could create a new model for international trade agreements that lies somewhere between full-on globalization and rampant protectionism.


History may one day judge Brexit as a repeat of the Glorious Revolution in which Britons reasserted the supremacy of the ancient laws and liberties that Burke called the "rights of Englishmen." This revolution was a bloodless rejection of the Hegelian centralization and groundless metaphysical abstractions that are at the core of the modern European project.