Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May are united in their doctrine of procrastination.

The contrast spoke volumes. Emmanuel Macron strode on to a large stage at the Sorbonne university in Paris surrounded by young, smiling students and a bank of yellow and blue EU flags. The French president spoke passionately — at times grandiloquently, at times in detail — about the long-term future of Europe for 100 minutes.

A few days earlier, Theresa May stood in front of a grey Whitehall banner erected in a basement annexe of a church in Florence. Her small audience was made up of British journalists, grim-faced cabinet ministers, and a smattering of local dignitaries. The high point of her 35-minute speech was announcing that the UK would seek a short-term fudge of a two-year “transition” to Brexit.

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