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Contents Issue 293 December 2020

Cover story

18 Who killed soft Brexit? The mysterious tale of how a divided country gave up the chance to be half-in and half-out of Europe & plus

26 Continental drift Voters have slowly gone off Brexit—and opinion could soon shift further


Up front 1 Editorial 5 Contributors 6 Letters

Opinions 9 One-nation Toryism is dead 10 Scotland is almost lost plus ’ cartoon strip

AT LAW 13 Righting the constitution

SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE 14 Terror attacks, culture wars

SPEED DATA 15 The vaccine race c

THE DUEL 16 Are empires always bad?



PROSPECT PORTRAIT The north face Andy Burnham’s lockdown rebellion shows a mayor flexing his muscles

34 Downfall The Trump endgame is very much in character: rage, resentment and unfaltering adoration from the base

38 The in tray Some US problems—notably China—are more fundamental than the identity of the commander-in-chief

42 Arms and the man Shinzo¯ Abe failed to overhaul Japan’s pacifist constitution—but the nation will keep quietly rearming

48 Out of o‰ce The pandemic is killing shared working spaces. Will we miss them?

52 The price of entry British Jews know acceptance means abandoning parts of your identity

56 Chess, chance and checkmate How Bobby Fischer tried to save the game from computers


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