The UK has been doomed since the Second World War, which the country lost to the USA. Recall that rationing only formally ended in 1954, and had repercussions far after. (See "Government Cheddar" for an intriguing history.) The country now has no basic industry or sustainable means of economic existence, instead relying on two mechanisms for survival. It is these that define the contemporary "empire".
The first is the virtual world of banking and insurance, built on the velocity of money. This, more than the congregation-less cathedrals, allows London to be the "spiritual centre" of the entire UK. Happily for this analysis, St. Paul's and The City coincide geographically. For centuries the view of Sir Christopher Wren's spire was essential to the definition of London. Only in recent decades has this horizon been lost. Taller buildings have since been erected, honouring the spectral flow of petabytes of pounds through their optic fibres. Since their facades don't matter, they are built to reflect back a view of the pathetic observer looking in. These structures demonstrate a faith in a spirit world of endeavour, where the less you do, the more you are worth.
This is also characteristic of the second income stream, which incorporates entertainment, tourism, and the royals. The belief system here is predicated on the "greatness" of a questionable colonialist and feudal past, with all the inherent contradictions. Museums make money being sorry for past atrocities, while queues stretch for hours past the crown jewels, set amidst halls of gleaming armour and swords -- which were taken up against citizens more so than foreign invaders. Meanwhile parody, farce, and pure escapism define an entertainment industry that seems to spend most of its time apologising for being. (But who owns the stage musicals that make more money than the aerospace industry?)
England has become a giant theme park ruled by transnational billionaires (Saudi, esp.), presided over by a club of sexually humiliated toffs. These bullies are created in the public school system that is designed to arrest psychological development in pre-adolescence. It is no wonder that the star pupils are prepared so well for political or business life.
With the centre imploding, the only strategy remaining is to retreat behind the channel and raise the drawbridge. Xenophobia is only an excuse, a convenient screen for the ever-present class warfare, once defined by land ownership but now by patterns of consumption. The only exploitable resource remaining to England are the "proud working English" themselves. Their purpose is to consume on schedule and doff their caps to their "betters". A perfect example is the election just passed, where the people performed their designated role admirably.
The English need to learn what the Scots already know... that the only way out is to toss off the mantle. Never mind the EU, why not an independent state of Liverpool (for example). A ridiculous notion, granted. (To quote Klaatu's "Long Live Politzania", worth listening to in this context.) But perhaps what is needed is more ridicule, more parody, and more sheer rebelliousness. Confront the system with the excessive products of its own devising. Where's Test Dept. when you need them?
Repeal the Corn Laws! Up the Commons! Etc.
Yours, in extremis,
A Humble English Citizen.