Brexit: Keep Calm and Carry On

The immediate reaction to the Brexit vote in the international media and financial markets illustrates again the complacency and vacuity of the governing elites of the West. There was never any reason to imagine the Remainers would win on the basis of the piffle that David Cameron brought back from Brussels. He promised “full-on treaty change” in response to decades of mounting British unease over the authoritarian regulation of their lives and occupations, and what he got was a promise by the twenty-six other European Union countries to “consider” British “applications” for the right to vary benefit paid to certain categories of migrants. What Neville Chamberlain brought back from Munich in 1938 was a triumph of diplomacy in comparison. This was always going to be a close race and where the slumbering confidence that Cameron would walk it came from is a complete mystery, other than the resistless addiction of the British political leadership, like their American analogues, to believe what they want to believe.