The fact that the question “Do you want to belong to the European Union?” was even put to voters is evidence of the vast chasm between the British political class and the public. The government, completely unable to identify with or even imagine the concerns of hoi polloi thought the questions was similar to “Do you wish to continue to breathe oxygen?” and clearly had no plan whatsoever for what to do if a majority said “Well… now that you mention it, no, I don’t.”
The chasm has not closed at all and as the current shambolic ruins of British government show the political class is as alienated from the public as ever as a majority of politicians across the political spectrum are clearly working to delay Brexit forever and are using a variety of tactics to achieve that. Part of that is making Brexit into an agonizing process in the hope of spoiling the public’s taste for it. Another is to remove any actual meaning by endless extensions. There are others, but I think the interesting point is that so far… they’re not working. I think if the political establishment thought they had the votes for it they’d rerun the referendum again, but they know they don’t (or don’t want to risk it) and are trying to get around it by other means.
Any ideology if applied in a pure enough manner gets to the point where it can’t stand democracy and needs to either end elections entirely or deprive them of any meaning and neoliberalism (broadly understood) has reached that point. Neoliberalism is about the government aiding the private sector and serving capital rather than citizens (those bums!) and more and more people are more and more sick of it and will make their displeasure known and the political establishment is not handling that well, from the “resistance” in the US to Brexit chaos to nervous breakdowns in the EU when a politicians prioritizes anything beyond serving capital.
No matter what happens next, massive unnecessary damage has been done to the British political system and social environment that will take decades (at the very least) to heal. And all because the political establishment didn’t like what the voters said….