Could this be the year that populism pops? In 2016, the votes for Brexit and US President Donald Trump stunned the political establishments in the UK and the US, but 2019 stands a good chance of being the year that the populist project crumbles into incoherence, as it becomes increasingly clear that bad ideas have bad consequences. The optimistic claims made for Brexit in 2016 have already collapsed. UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with the EU has been denounced as a betrayal by most of the erstwhile leaders of the Leave campaign. But a “no-deal” Brexit, which many Leavers now advocate, threatens to bring hardship and humiliation in its wake; while a decision to hold a second referendum would be an even starker retreat from the peak populism of three years ago. The prospects for the American branch of the populist project look no more appealing. Trump’s poll ratings are sinking again and the stock market — his chosen measure of success — has plummeted. The Robert Mueller invest...

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