I cannot recall Britain falling so low. The Suez debacle in 1956? As supplicant at the door of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 20 years later? These were moments of national shame. They were moments also that passed. The impact of Brexit has been cumulative. Each chapter in the story heaps on more humiliation. However it ends, the damage will not be quickly undone. A crushing defeat for Theresa May’s flawed blueprint was predictable and predicted. In the event, her plan was eviscerated. In normal times, the prime minister would already have packed her bags. These are extraordinary times. May won the vote of no confidence tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. But to what purpose? Stand back from the melee and it is truly breathtaking that, a matter of weeks before Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU, nothing is secure by way of transitional arrangements or a firm framework for the future. Decades of close economic integration and intimate political collaboration with its...

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