But if the bottle had stayed corked the genie would have still been there and sooner or later the cork would have decayed and the genie would have seeped out (note to self: mustn't push this image too far.)
Better out than in? Well, you can't resolve issues by avoiding them.
Our political system is ill equipped to deal with the issues Brexit raises. We have a party of the right and a party of the left- and Brexit isn't a left-right issue.
It's an issue of localism v globalism. Neither of these things is intrinsically good or bad. There is a left wing and a right wing case to be made for either- a conservative case and a progressive case.
The same battle- though the terms differ- is raging all over the world. It's not the only issue of our times- but it's a big one. Where do we want power to reside- in international bodies or national ones?
I think we may have some growing up to do before we start thinking in terms of "both/and" rather than "either/or".
In France the gilets jaunes are fighting the police. In Britain protagonists of both factions gathered outside parliament yesterday evening for the killing of Mrs May's Brexit plan. They weren't throwing molotov cocktains- because that's not the British way- but they were very noisy- and some enthusiast was ring-ding-dinging a bell. No-one could remember anything like it.
The goverment lost its vote by a huge margin. But remains in office.
And so it continues...