One year to Brexit

Prime Minister goes on tour to promote unity

LONDON — Britain’s exit from the European Union has been likened to putting toothpaste back in the tube. But it’s more like trying to separate the fluoride from the paste: complicated and messy.

Thursday marked 365 days until Britain officially leaves the EU. The March 29, 2019, departure will end a 46-year marriage that has entwined the economies, legal systems and peoples of Britain and 27 other European countries.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was on a whistle-stop tour of the United Kingdom’s four corners to promise a Brexit that unites the country.

“Brexit provides us with opportunities,” May said at a weaving firm in southwest Scotland, before meeting parents in northeast England, Northern Ireland dairy farmers, business bosses in Wales and Polish immigrants in London. “It is in our interests to come together and really seize these opportunities for the future.”

May didn’t answer when asked if she thought Brexit would be worth it.

“It will be different,” May told the BBC. “I think it’s a bright future out there.”

Britain formally an­nounced its intention to leave the EU a year ago, triggering a two-year countdown that University of Manchester political science professor Rob Ford calls a “ludicrously short” timeline.

“That’s not sufficient time to disentangle 40 years of political, social and economic entanglement,” he said.

“Even with the best will in the world — which isn’t the spirit in which these negotiations have been conducted — it couldn’t happen,” he said.