Twitter is a Brexit battleground today. I thought I’d feel more passionate one way or the other about the milestone we’ve just passed. Instead I’m just impatient for the whole process to start. I’ve already explained how I voted Remain and then instantly regretted it. All I’ll add is that if pro-EU campaigners had displayed as much emotion in the weeks before the referendum as they have in the last nine months they would probably have won. Instead they expected to get a victory by default, and now they’re understandably bitter and frustrated. Larry Siedentop saw the warning signs in “Democracy in Europe” nearly twenty years ago:
In recent decades the language of economics has largely driven out the language of politics and, in particular, the language of constitutionalism in Europe… [T]he pursuit of economic integration has resulted in a curious outcome. A European Union inspired by liberal democratic principles has increasingly acted on quasi-Marxist assumptions, assuming that when economic progress has been achieved, other institutional improvements will follow “inevitably” or as a matter of course. But that is a vulgar form of economic determinism which has been discredited both intellectually and practically. The state, whatever its form, is not the mere scaffolding of a market economy.