Letter From Europe: In Soccer, Winners Are Clear; in ‘Brexit,’ Not So Much


People in London on Saturday protesting Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Andrew Testa for The New York Times

BERLIN — In Germany, and across Europe, there are really only two topics of conversation these days: “Brexit” and everything associated with the British vote to leave the European Union; and soccer, a.k.a. football, as the European Championships near an end.

As Britain descends into political crisis after the June 23 referendum, voters there could be forgiven for looking wistfully at the indisputable, if brutal, way in which matters are settled in the tournament.

Germany delivered a particularly nail-biting shootout against Italy in the quarterfinals last Saturday — an 18-shot drama that involved misses by national soccer heroes and, ultimately, a game-winning strike from a new German star, Jonas Hector.

Central Berlin erupted in joyful honking and screaming, while the Italians wept.

Would that British politics had some kind of process to resolve the extraordinary unraveling seen in the London establishment since it became clear that

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