As Sherlock Holmes observed, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

The impossible, in this case, has been Brexit. Theresa May, the British prime minister who announced her resignation on Friday, turned the poisoned chalice of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union every which way in an attempt to make it palatable. She could not.

“Brexit means Brexit,” she famously intoned, without ever finding the courage or conviction to elaborate. This was a problem, given that the matter at hand was one of her country’s gravest peacetime decisions. Obstinacy, rather than some idea for Britain’s future, drove her. Britain had voted, almost three years ago now; she would be the delivery woman.