The irony, I would guess, is lost on Britain’s Brexiters. The EU has stalled, French President Emmanuel Macron laments, because it now more closely resembles a marketplace than a political community of nations. And it has grown unwieldy. A union of 28 (soon to be 27) nations, with faultlines running east to west and north to south is struggling to cohere.

The single market and enlargement, it seems, have a lot to answer for. These were projects, of course, pursued with gusto during the 1980s and 1990s by two Conservative prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher and John Major. You could go so far as to call them great British success stories.

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