What Really Went Wrong With Brexit
Alexandra Hall Hall on the exquisite torture of Peter Foster's brilliant new book about the deep damage caused by Britain's exit from the EU
As someone who might legitimately be accused of occasional Brexit Derangement Syndrome (a not unreasonable state of mind, to my way of thinking, given how damaging Brexit has been to the UK), reading Financial Times journalist Peter Foster’s new book, What Went Wrong with Brexit – And What Can We Can Do About It, was a form of exquisite torture.
Exquisite, because the research is thorough, the writing eloquent, and the arguments clearly presented. Indeed, Foster writes in a way to gladden any former civil servant’s heart – in dispassionate prose, with many facts, figures and concrete examples to buttress his points.
Furthermore, he makes clear that many of the UK’s problems preceded Brexit, and won’t simply vanish if we magically rejoined the EU overnight. He honestly acknowledges that the EU made some missteps during the Brexit negotiations, and also that some Remainers bear part of the blame for the situation we are now in, due to their refusal to compromise on less extreme forms of Brexit, that might have been achievable while Theresa May was Prime Minister.
Torture, however, because he lists in unsparing, excruciating detail the multiple ways in which the Brexit deal negotiated by Boris Johnson and his consiglieri, David Frost, has made the UK poorer, weaker, more divided, less competitive, less influential, and less trusted.
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