The Other Side of the Pond: Things Aren't Great There Either

The continuing fall-out from Brexit only gets worse, everyday becoming more surrealistic. Many Americans are probably getting a little bored with the foolishness of England's political class about which Sarah Lyall in the NYTimes gives a rundown that echoes scenes from "Monty Python." Oliver Letwin, the cabinet minister appointed to oversee the process, told a parliamentary committee that he had "no idea" what was going to happen because the government had not planned for Brexit to win.

The most serious and sober assessment I have come across is in Der Spiegel on line and helpfully available to all us English-speakers in our own language. I was stunned by this quote: "Politically, the EU referendum was the most expensive bad bet made by a British prime minister in decades. Cameron will go down in history like Lord North, the premier who accidentally lost the colonies in America." Was it really an accident? Inattention to details-- (perhaps a bit like Mrs. Clinton's use of a private server for State Department business)?

Historical analogies aside, Christopher Scheuermann gives a sober analysis of how seriously Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel are taking the prospect of an EU without Britain. The U.S. should be equally concerned and attentive.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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