Image Credit: above: British European Parliament member Nigel Farage leaves the hemicycle after addressing European lawmakers during the plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020.
City of Westminster

Brexit Got Done, Now Get Over It

The great 2016 vote-undoing project seems at long last to have been abandoned on both sides of the Atlantic. In Washington, President Trump’s impeachment fizzled out—a strange and pathetic affair however you look at it. Everyone is looking past it now to this year’s presidential election in November. In London, meanwhile, on Jan. 31 Brexit happened, and most people barely noticed.

A few thousand Euroskeptics called it Independence Day, though not without irony. They got drunk in Westminster, waved flags, and sang songs. Elsewhere in London, Europhiles by contrast wore black and mourned Britain’s departure from the European Union. The Guardian newspaper grumpily printed the headline “Small island” above a picture of a small sand castle with a Union Jack flag poking out, which irritated some patriots on Twitter. For the vast majority, however, a very British apathy took charge: Most of us would rather talk about the coronavirus than engage in another round of arguments over whether Britain belongs to Europe or not.

Brexit took a long time—1,317 days from the referendum vote to Britain’s departure from the EU. The political anger it generated has largely flushed itself out. Boris Johnson won election to the office of prime minister by promising, over and over, to “Get Brexit Done.” That simple, repetitive slogan resonated because it spoke to how fed up the...

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