Britain weathered political turmoil in 2022. But Brexit remains the elephant in the room

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The past year has been one of the most tumultuous in modern British politics. The country has gone through three prime ministers, mourned the death of its longest-serving monarch, and is currently in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis that threatens to engulf the Conservative-voting middle classes.

The Prime Minister who seized the tiller, Rishi Sunak, spent the first weeks of his premiership trying to steady a rocky ship. His most recent predecessor, Liz Truss, had precipitated an almost unprecedented financial crisis with a reckless budget and was forced to resign after just six weeks; the previous occupant of 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson, spent the final months of his premiership tarnishing the institution as he battled a series of damaging scandals.

Sunak’s pitch has been one of calm governance and sound economic policy that he hopes will narrow the huge polling gap between his Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party before the next general election, which must be held no later than January 2025.

But for all the carnage of 2022, one of the most consequential aspects of Britain’s new political reality has been barely discussed.


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