Voters chose the optimism of Brexit. Sixty years after Britain’s humiliation in the Suez debacle, Britain has a spring in its step, confident that it will flourish when Brussels no longer controls 60 to 70 percent of the British government’s actions. Britain was last conquered by an invading army in 1066. In 2016, it repelled an attempted conquest by the E.U.’s nomenklatura .

By breaking the leftward-clicking ratchet that moves steadily, and only, toward more “pooled” sovereignty and centralization of power, Brexit refutes the progressive narrative that history has an inexorable trajectory that “experts” discern and before which all must bow. The E.U.’s contribution to this fable is its vow to pursue “ever-closer union.” Yes, ever .

To understand why Brexit could and should be the beginning of an existential crisis for the E.U., look across the English Channel, to France. There, King Clovis recently was invoked 1505 years after his death in 511.