A short, but to-the-point look at Brexit

Book review: Ninve lessons in BrexitIvan Roger makes a lot of good points in his analysis of where we've been going wrong with Brexit.


Short Books, £5.99

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Brexit has not gone smoothly. Nearly three years on from the vote and we haven't even formally left the EU, let alone concluded the long-term trade agreement that was promised to be "the easiest in human history" to conclude. In this book Ivan Rogers, who was Britain's ambassador to the EU until he resigned at the start of 2017, outlines what he considers to be the key mistakes.

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Rogers' nine errors can essentially be grouped into three categories. Firstly,we've been too ambitious underestimating the scale of the task, forgetting that Brexit poses a threat to the EU, and assuming that it will be easy for Britain to get trade deals with the rest of the world. This has been made worse by poor planning not matching the EU's negotiating capabilities, neglecting the service sector, and assuming we can improve on existing templates. Theresa May and the government have also made several political mistakes: assuming that all Leavers want the same things, keeping things secret, and being dishonest with the public.

It's clear Lewis thinks the whole thing is a mistake. Still, his analysis is objective and is based on his experience as a negotiator, rather than on assertions. While we at MoneyWeek wouldn't agree with all of his conclusions (adopting the "Norway-plus" solution would have greatly simplified the process), he makes a lot of good points. Anyone involved in negotiating deals will learn a lot from this short, but to-the-point, work.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

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