Anne Applebaum writes: That elite version of Brexit [envisioned by the Leave campaign leaders and their wealthy backers] — England as an offshore haven, a deregulated zone, an arcadian haven, a cosmopolitan business center, the Dubai of the North Atlantic — was not what the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph sold in the campaign, and it isn’t what the leave campaign put on their billboards. Instead, the papers repeated scare stories about immigration and the campaign bus promised that 350 million pounds a week, a completely invented number, would be paid to the National Health Service. The idealists want pure sovereignty; the hedge funds want deregulation; the voters voted for the welfare state.
The result is chaos. The leave campaign does not have a common vision and does not have a common plan because its members wouldn’t be able to agree on one. Iain Duncan-Smith, a pro-Brexit MP and former minister, backpeddaled on the 350 million pounds: “I never said that,” he said — although photographs show he was happy enough to travel on a bus that did. Farage laughed at the number, too. Johnson wrote a column which seemed to suggest that immigration was fine and nothing much would change. In an act of Monty Pythonesque farce, he then temporarily disappeared, refusing to turn up in the House of Commons on the first meeting after his team’s victory. How long will it be before the next revolution — this time against the pro-Brexit elite? [Continue reading…]