Before many of us could even catch our breath after Britain nearly tore itself in two, England is at it again, playing roulette with our other closest, hard won political partnership.
Referenda to break with Europe are offered up brazenly as election fodder. Reforming of some sort of our relationship was beginning to look like an increasingly and depressingly unavoidable way to stem the tide of skepticism and separatism, sweeping England.
But before the political games could even begin, the Queen made her move - checkmate - Merkel would rather accept the UK exit from the EU, than give a single inch on the "fundamental" question of free movement. Britain, she warns, is approaching "a point of no return."
When far right non-establishment parties suddenly won national elections in seemingly liberal Britain and France (and seats all over Europe), questions needed to be answered; was the electorate really calling for all the hateful policies espoused by these parties? No, a "protest vote" was the only acceptable way to rationalise this. The Front National and UKIP are single-issue parties - European integration and immigration. So, further, are people voting because they want to leave the EU, or reform their relationship with it?
Before and after the elections, it is clear; the majority of the electorate were and are only calling for change. High levels of support for membership were recorded in June and three month later (even after a billion pound tax bill and continued euro hysteria) they had reach record highs.
Germany's economy is propping up Europe and Ms. Merkel's words carry weight. Europe, however, is made up of people not economies. We might not like what they said, but the European people spoke on the 25th of May. Merkel's stone cold position is extremely unhelpful at this time of recession, increasing division and loss of confidence in the European project generally.
Unless Merkel wants to turn Europe into an undemocratic vehicle further ridden with dissent, and possibly preside over it's disintegration, she may have to consider at least some deliberation and compromise. The European parliament is fast filling up with MEP's who openly will its destruction, rarely turn up, and despise its inner workings. How long can this go on?
Britain outside of the EU would be a sad little country; a waning colonial power cast out into the Atlantic to mourn all it once commanded. But with developments as they are, Merkel is right about the "point of no return," it is indeed moving closer.
This is the democratic predicament we face: we can gamble like we did with Scotland, or, we can hope for a compromise on this ever-divisive issue and reluctantly recognizes the increasingly widespread and unavoidable calls for change.Suggest a correction