As the most exciting Supreme Court battle this side of the Atlantic kicked off this week, there was a familiar sound droning in the background.

Protest. Erstwhile campaigners, angry at a misguided belief that 11 unelected embodiments of the establishment writ large (and in whigs), might be about to decide the fate of the United Kingdom for decades to come.

And while – as they will be the first to point out – they are perfectly entitled to express their right of free speech, those still trying to fight the good fight, who divide the country into Remainers, and Remoaners, Leavers and Brexiteers, must recognise the harm they themselves are inflicting on the UK.

The problem isn’t really a gaggle of individuals hiring buses and shouting loudly outside a courtroom in London. After all, how representative can a group of campaigners who happen to be off work and in SW1 at 11am on a Monday be? But they are the physical reminder of a country which is very much still defined by which box you put your cross into on 23 June 2016.

As justices, legal experts and MPs have pointed out, this week’s hearing is not about whether Brexit is triggered, but how it is triggered. This matters little to those who now have a straw man to attack, project insecurities onto and lurch back to the more comfortable pre-vote period when Brexit didn’t mean Brexit, it meant whatever you wanted it to mean – catastrophic or euphoric.

Both “sides” are guilty in this particular saga. If the Supreme Court upholds the view that Parliament must be involved in the triggering of Article 50, for those egged on by the Daily Mail, it would be a outright attack on the wishes of 17.4m people who voted to Leave. For others, they see the decisions as the first victory on the long road to keep Britain in the EU.

Both claims are as embarrassingly wrong.

But these arguments are just a snapshot of a wider trend which has captured British politics in the last few years. Trotsky talked of permanent revolution. For the UK, a permanent campaign seems to be enough, with battled-hardened core supporters unable to drop the fight for a cause, campaign, person or party – even after it has won or lost. Brexit is just the latest incarnation following the Scottish referendum and, arguably, Momentum.

Some dismiss it as a disregard for democracy. But it’s more a combination of political immaturity on the part of our system and politicians, exacerbated by tenets of basic human nature – nostalgia, self-assuredness, validation-seeking behaviour and paternalism.

Immaturity because for 36 years the UK happily managed on without the need for a nationwide-poll on anything other than who should be the government of the day. That changed after 2005 when a fresh-faced Big Society David Cameron, in his fleeting penchant for a bit of direct democracy started to come round to the ideas of referendums. Electoral reform, the union, Europe – the people would get what the people wanted.

Trouble is that we consensus-seeking, apolitical Brits weren’t ready for these “once-in-a-generation” decisions. Our politicians weren’t either, and campaigns have stayed stuck in the “good vs. bad”, “project fear vs. project hope”, “look at those other countries that do it better/worse” territory, in a binary lowest-common-denominator approach.

Unfortunately, this creates headaches after the fact. Base emotions and a winner-takes-all attitude whipped up in the fever of a campaign are hard to quieten. Especially with so much process in the way.

The UK hasn’t become Australia as some vocal Brexiteers promised by virtue of a 33m scribbles on a bit of paper, but neither has it descended into a slightly-colder less-investable Greece like the scare-mongers warned. Scotland hasn’t gained first-among-equals status within the UK as a result of sweeping post-referendum devolution, and Jeremy Corbyn is still fairly unpopular within the parliamentary Labour Party, despite his emphatic re-election victory.

This “unfinished business” has left people, understandably, longing for the days of the campaign.

Some, including those who know otherwise, point to every shred of better-than-expected economic data as proof that the pre-referendum doom-mongers should be sacked on the spot and the Leave campaign were right all along. They ideologically claim a weaker pound is good for exports, despite the very woolly connection between 21st century high-tech, part-imported and service-based exports the UK generates and the exchange rate. They dismiss the spectre of rising inflation as ridiculous given how low it has been for the past two years. Besides, what do forecasters know?

Some remain-voters have been just as tiresome. Vote Leave Watch, for instance, have built themselves around the idea of “holding the Leave campaign to account”. The fact the Leave campaign wasn’t an opposition government seems to have escaped them, and they are calling for the £350m a week promised for the NHS and seem to hold Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis personally responsible for the £120bn black hole outlined in the Autumn Statement.

Then there’s the political sabotage. Despite the fact many on that side of the fence would probably quite like to stay in the Single Market and are happy with ceding control over free movement and EU budgetary contributions, they attack anybody who campaigned to Leave who might now share this assessment.

But the referendum is over. The debates have moved on and the new battle for the future of the UK has just begun. It needs both the hard Brexiters and the fleshy Remoaners. But all the while they insist on re-running (sometimes literally) the first campaign, the UK will probably get exactly the kind of Brexit it deserves.