When Britain left the European Union, officials at the EU headquarters in Brussels were saddened, but also relieved. At long last, the most awkward member state, the country that always blocked any proposal to make the union more cohesive, was gone. Without Britain, everything was possible.
Sadly, however, it was not to be. For the EU is now embroiled in a bitter dispute with Poland, one of its most significant member states, and the biggest of the 12 former communist countries that joined as full members since the end of the Cold War.