The first step to solving a problem is to see it clearly. And if we are to understand why we are facing not only our most serious constitutional crisis since the 17th century but an unprecedented economic calamity precipitated by a no-deal exit from the EU, we must recognise that nationalism is now driving British politics.
Having set almost impossible terms for any negotiation with Europe and preparing to renege on legal obligations to pay our debts to the EU – the economic equivalent of a declaration of war – Boris Johnson’s government is hell-bent on conjuring up the absurd and mendacious image of the patriotic British valiantly defying an intransigent Europe determined to turn us into a vassal state.
His soundbites, pledging token sums for the NHS and 20,000 more police on the street at some future date, cannot disguise a government driven not by the national interest but by a destructive, populist, nationalist ideology. And with Scottish nationalists pushing a more extreme form of separation and Northern Ireland’s…