The Week

Leading article

Where Brexit failed

One of the many tragedies of Theresa May’s premiership is that, having come up with a coherent policy on how to enact Brexit, she spent her prime ministerial career failing to follow it.  The words she used in her speech at Lancaster House in 2017 seemed clear enough: ‘No deal is better than a bad

Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week | 4 April 2019

Home Brexit exerted ever stranger effects on politics. After an eight-hour cabinet meeting, Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said she would ‘sit down’ with Jeremy Corbyn ‘to try to agree a plan’, though it ‘would have to agree the current withdrawal agreement’. The United Kingdom had been required to present a plan to a European


Diary – 4 April 2019

I voted Remain, and still don’t think Brexit is a good idea. However, if there were to be a second EU referendum, I would vote Leave. Not because I’ve experienced some Damascene conversion to the Brexit cause — I haven’t met anyone who has changed their mind about it and suspect these people don’t exist

Ancient and modern

The comedy and the crisis

Since comedians these days seem to be the authorities on all matters spiritual and temporal (puts on funny voice, knife-crime ends), who better than the comic playwright Aristophanes to show us how, despite our feckless MPs, we can leave the EU? In 425 bc Athens had for six years been locked in a grinding war


Barometer | 4 April 2019

German customs The original customs union, or Zollverein, was established by Prussia along with 17 other states which make up modern Germany in 1834. Prior to that, traders crossing what is now Germany, were obliged to make multiple declarations and pay taxes as they moved across state borders. — It had taken 15 years to

From the archives

Supreme but not respected

From ‘The disconsideration of the House of Commons’, 5 April 1919: The House of Commons is legally supreme in the land; it has eaten up and destroyed all competitors and become the sole depository of political power under the Constitution; and yet, instead of earning the respect which one might imagine would belong to such


Letters | 4 April 2019

About the Bible Sir: I was confirmed by Richard Holloway as a schoolboy at Fettes College, and then taught by John Barton while an Anglican ordinand at Oxford University. So I was intrigued to read Holloway’s review of Barton’s latest book, A History of the Bible (30 March), and disturbed by their conclusions. Indeed, both