One of the easiest-to-diagnose symptoms of the existential crisis that is causing the decline and fall of Western civilization is the deepening disconnect between peoples and governments.

A perfect example is Britain, where in the 2016 Brexit referendum 17.4 million people voted to leave the European Union (a clear-cut majority of 52 percent on a high turnout of 72 percent).  No political party in Britain (with her first-past-the-post system) ever wins a general election with anything like 50 percent of the vote.  This was the biggest democratic vote for anything ever in British history.  The result was therefore unequivocal.

Yet 73 percent of British Members of Parliament, from all parties, voted to Remain—seduced, or enslaved, by the global elite, who include most multinationals, most banks, most university teachers, and most media providers.

This explains in a nutshell why the Brexit process is in such a mess and why Britain, after well over a year of useless talks with Brussels, is now likely to crash out of the E.U. without a deal.  I, for one, a Briton who has lived in Italy for 20 years, sincerely hope that we do, regardless of the economic consequences for me.

British Prime Minister Theresa May supported Remain before the referendum but afterward said she would honor the result.  “Brexit means Brexit,” she promised.  She has failed to deliver on her promise.

British MPs also pledged to respect the decision of the people, but far too many then set out to throw spanners in the works—or else speak with forked tongues to undermine Brexit by hook or by crook.

A key mantra, repeated ad nauseam by opponents, is that the British did not know what Brexit meant at the time of the referendum.  Oh yes they did!  It meant: out.  Lock, stock, and barrel.  Whatever it takes.

The vote for Brexit had nothing to do with ignorance, stupidity, racism—nor even money.  It was about taking back control—a.k.a. sovereignty.

This extraordinary vote reflects what is happening right across the West: Today’s big political struggle is no longer between proletariat and bourgeoisie but between sovereignists and globalists—between those who want to defend their country, culture, and way of life and those who do not.

This new struggle has shattered the traditional left-right, class-based divide in politics that dominated much of the 20th century.  Most notably, those who were once sworn enemies—left-wing internationalists, for whom nation-states are the root of all evil, and right-wing global capitalists, for whom the nation-state is a barrier to profit—are now in unholy alliance.

It is they who opposed Brexit.  To such people, the E.U., whose mission is the abolition of the nation-state, is the solution, not the problem—even though the E.U.’s executive arm, the European Commission, is an unelected bureaucracy, and effectively its legislative arm as well, as the European Parliament is an ineffectual Tower of Babel.  And they believe it despite the E.U.’s dysfunctional single currency, which is doomed to collapse unless there is genuine political union, which there will not be unless imposed against the will of the people, since such a union would mean—apart from anything else—debt sharing.

The British majority, left- and right-wing patriots, rich and poor, disagreed with this unholy alliance and voted to take back control.  It was in fact—whatever you hear on CNN or read in the New York Times—a vote in favor of democracy and against E.U. tyranny—a tyranny not as bad as Hitler’s, of course, but not all that dissimilar to the one imposed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire on its vassal states.

May promised the British not just that “Brexit means Brexit” but again and again that “No deal is better than a bad deal.”  But in the second half of 2018 this morphed into “my deal, or no deal.”  And her deal is the pits.

So now, two-and-a-half years after that historic referendum vote, the British are being offered a Brexit deal which forces them to give the E.U. $50 billion to remain more or less in the E.U., quite possibly forever, meanwhile unable to do trade deals with the rest of the world, but with no power over E.U. decisions—in other words, as a vassal state.

Called “The Withdrawal Agreement,” it is not even a deal.  Only if it is approved by the British Parliament can Mrs. May then begin talks with the Brussels bureaucrats on the Brexit deal proper, expected to last at least another two years, to set in stone the nitty-gritty of trade and other relations between Britain and the E.U.  The only alternative offer is no deal, which all those opposing Brexit keep on telling the British people will be an economic catastrophe—either that, or “No Brexit” at all.

If Parliament votes against May, as expected, then “no deal” will happen automatically on March 29—the date when the two-year period for exit from the E.U. following formal notification expires.  However, those who oppose Brexit will do everything they can to stop this.  And so might she.

I am British and have lived for 20 years at the very heart of the E.U. in Italy, and am quite possibly the only one among the 1.3 million Britons living in the E.U. (outside the U.K.) to support Brexit.  This makes me a freak.  I would have voted for Brexit without blinking, if allowed, but was barred as I had not been registered to vote in Britain within the last 15 years.

I love Europe, but not the E.U.  I am married to an Italian, and we have six young children.  But I fear for their future.  For I have witnessed how the euro has destroyed La Dolce Vita and reduced the Italian economy to a basket case.  The writing was on the wall as soon as the single currency arrived in 2002: The price of everything that matters in life, such as booze, cigarettes, and coffee, doubled overnight.  (Wages did not go up, of course.)

The E.U.’s obsession with the Holy Grail of a United States of Europe is killing its countries and their cultures, their ways of life, and their jobs.  The E.U. is a protection racket that is not protecting the European people.  I shall not bog you down with statistics, but here’s one: Italy’s youth unemployment rate is 35 percent—and double that in the impoverished south.

I see how the modern state in Italy, and in all European countries under the E.U. umbrella, is not founded on the liberty of the citizen from the state as it was in Britain.  It is founded, instead, on the power of the state over the citizen.  While this was true before the rise of the E.U., the legal code of the Union has reasserted the primacy of the state with a vengeance.

In Italy, for example, or anywhere else in continental Europe, whose legal system is based on the Napoleonic Code, you are free to do something only if the state gives you the right to do it.  In Britain, on the other hand, you are free (or were until British law became contaminated by E.U. law) to do anything unless the state stops you.  It is this that has created the grotesque human-rights industry.

The police, here as elsewhere in Europe, set up road blocks all the time and randomly stop cars to check drivers’ papers like Hitler’s Gestapo.  This would be unthinkable in Britain, where a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of a crime committed before stopping a citizen.  I prefer the Italians to the Germans, but it is the Germans who call the shots in the E.U.  It is not for nothing that the crucified Greeks, whose economy can never recover if Greece persists with the euro, accuse them of being modern-day Nazis with their barren fiscal sadism.  To convince the Germans to adopt the euro 20 years ago, the French in particular even allowed them to fix the exchange rate between the euro and the Deutschmark to suit them, and so screw everyone else.  Italy’s GDP has not grown since the country joined the euro in 1999.

I have no choice but to remain in Italy and the E.U., but it can only be good for the British to get the hell out.

I remain proudly British and would never become an Italian, even though I could.  I fly a Union Jack—bought from a ship’s chandler in the port of Ravenna—from the aerial of my seven-seater Land Rover Defender.  It’s the vehicle I use to ferry my six young Anglo-Italian children around the mosquito-infested Italian countryside on the Adriatic coast where we live, and in which every now and again I sing “Rule Britannia.”

The Union Jack, let’s face it, is one of the most beautiful flags in the world, a fact of which I am reminded each time I see one of those dreary blue E.U. flags on a public building in Italy.  The unelected Euro-elite cannot even create a decent flag, so how on earth can they create a decent United States of Europe?  Their only hope is to impose one by force.  But no citizen of any European country, I am willing to bet, defines himself as a European, or ever will.  The peoples of the E.U. do not even speak the same languages.

I may live in Europe, but I am a Brexiteer born and bred because I care more about democracy and liberty than about money—about my country and what that word country means.  The cost to my identity as an Englishman and what that means is far too high a price to pay for a fistful of euros.

It is almost certain that Parliament will not pass May’s awful deal.  She has a wafer-thin majority, but thanks only to the support of the small Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, who have said they will not vote for it.  Worse, for her, at least a third of her own MPs have said the same thing.

Desperate to scare her MPs into voting for her deal, she and her closest allies have been involved in a massive publicity campaign to convince the country that no deal would crash the economy.

This is a repeat of what happened before the Brexit referendum.  The then-Tory government, which called the referendum but was in favor of Remain, commissioned the Treasury to calculate what would happen if the British voted in favor of Brexit.  Project Fear, as it soon became known, predicted instant recession and 500,000 extra unemployed, not as a result of Brexit itself but merely following a vote in favor of Brexit.  In fact, unemployment fell, and GDP grew.

Many Remainers—who include former Labour Prime Minister and wild-eyed europhile Tony Blair—are also preaching doom and gloom as a consequence of no deal.  Their aim is a second referendum which they market as “The People’s Vote,” as if the people had not already voted.  The people did not know—they insist—what Brexit meant.  But nor do the people know now what the May deal might mean, as the trade talks have yet to start.  Nor do the Remainers.  Anyway, opinion polls show no big change in public opinion.  In fact, a second referendum, which would take months to organize, could lead to an even bigger Leave majority.

If Britain does leave without a “Withdrawal Agreement” on March 29 it will mean trading with the E.U. according to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, which would impose average tariffs of four percent.  But Britain already uses WTO rules to trade with the rest of the world, including America.  So why not with the E.U.?  Initially, there is likely to be severe disruption at Britain’s borders owing to new, more restrictive passport and customs checks.  But customs officials say that, although it would be tough, the system could manage.

It is surely better to cut loose now with no agreement and keep the $50 billion rather than expose ourselves to at least two more years of humiliation and stonewalling at the hands of the unelected Brussels satraps during which we vainly try, cap in hand, to strike a formal deal that suits us.  And if, then, as a result, they want to talk with us, great.  Bring it on.

What bitter irony, though, that while a majority of British people voted to take back power from the E.U. and restore it to their Parliament, their elected politicians in that very same Parliament want to do the opposite.