Losing the will: Brexit

view on espresso.economist.com -- Dec 19th 2018 -- fan qiang

Losing the will: Brexit

  • lose the will 失去意志

The referendum of 2016 gave Britain’s MPs a clear instruction: to leave the EU.

  • referendum 全民公决;全民投票
  • MP (Member of Parliament)议员

Although that vote carries no legal weight, it has taken on a moral force like little else.

  • no legal weight 没有法律效力

Today’s paralysis is the result of Britain’s inability to reconcile its tradition of representative democracy with its more recent experiments in the direct sort.

  • paralysis (活动、工作等)能力的完全丧失
  • reconcile v. 调和;使和谐一致;使配合;使和解

Brexit is often likened to a divorce.

  • likened v. 比作;弄得像…

In fact the two years since the referendum have been more like a rocky engagement.

  • rocky 困难的;难以维持的

Voters were swept off their feet by the promises of the Leave campaign, only to discover that the future relationship was not going to be as they had imagined.

  • sweep off one's feet 清除;一溜烟跑出来;被人迷惑住;推倒

Calling it off would be mortifying. Yet seeing it through could be a serious, permanent mistake.

  • call off 〈口〉命令停止;丢手;取消(婚约);〈美〉点(名)
  • mortify 令人悔恨;令人悔恨的;痛心的

If the British are determined to plough on, that is their right.

  • plough on 破浪前行

But now that they know what Brexit really means, they deserve the chance to say whether they still want it.

  • deserve 值得;应得;应受

一个人做错了事可以反悔,那一个国家可以吗?

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