Bluffer’s Guide to Brexit
(Buy at Amazon)
Two years on from Leave’s narrow victory in the Brexit referendum and polls show that a significant number of people are still undecided about whether Brexit will end up being good for the UK or not. Obviously Brexit hasn’t happened yet, but some of the uncertainty is due to the confusion sown by a debate that has done little to move on from the Punch-and-Judy aspects of the referendum campaign. Boris Starling’s Bluffer’s Guide to Brexit is a light-hearted guide to the topic.
It has its flaws. In his discussion of the various options, he could have looked at the Swiss model, rather than just the Norway, Canada and WTO options. He could also have discussed immigration in a bit more depth – he gives it three pages. It may be unfair to say the Treasury got it wrong about the short-term impact of leaving, given that we haven’t left the EU yet. He could also have mentioned that leaving the customs union will require us to drastically step up the number of customs checks at our major ports, to stop firms using us as a backdoor into Europe.
Despite these shortcomings, the book does an excellent job, covering the main points in an entertaining way. Though clearly no fan of Boris and Nigel, he is even-handed in his put-downs. It’s an ideal book for those who want to quickly grasp the essentials, without getting bogged down in masses of detail or one-sided propaganda.