May 01, 2017 | By Christopher Caldwell, The Weekly Standard
If Britain winds up leaving the European Union, it will be the doing of a woman who was not even publicly identified with the cause when voters approved the referendum for “Brexit" 10 months ago. This week Conservative prime minister Theresa May called a general election for June 8. It will determine whether she can pull off the exit.
One of the wiser observations about politics in this populist age was made by Trump adviser Steve Bannon in February. "If you think they're going to give you your country back without a fight," he said, "you are sadly mistaken." The identity of "they" may vary from country to country but the fight is the same: Brexit=Trump. The British citizens who thought they had won the right to leave the European Union were not quite correct. They had won the right to fight over the matter with their almost unanimously pro-EU elites.
Brexit could easily have unraveled. The "Leave" side had the democratic elation, but the "Remain" side held better political cards. There was a very serious difficulty in translating a referendum—which has no legitimacy under Britain's system of parliamentary supremacy—into a law. There was a generously bankrolled public-relations agitation to bully Parliament into calling a second referendum. It was suddenly discovered that regional assemblies and the House of Lords had previously unasserted veto powers. And there was a divided Conservative party, most of whose members were unsympathetic to the democracy movement that had just triumphed. READ HERE