The echoes of Suez grow louder. In 1956 Anthony Eden’s failed expedition to regain control of the Suez Canal forced Britain to take a long hard look in the mirror. In place of the great imperial power they had imagined, the elites saw a nation struggling to retrieve lost glories. Brexit has forced another self-examination. The Brexiters promised “Global Britain” — a great power reborn, cutting a dash across every continent. Instead, the reflection shows Britain bowing to terms set by the Europe it was supposed to be escaping. The best argument for the deal negotiated by Theresa May’s government is that it is an expression of the balance of power between Britain and its neighbours. Michael Gove, a cabinet Brexiter, used to claim Britain “held all the cards”. Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary, said it could “have its cake and eat it”. The prime minister fell into the trap and said the EU would bend itself out of shape to offer a “bespoke” settlement. Michel Barnier, Brussels...

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