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

Cover of Nine Lessons in BrexitNine Lessons in Brexit

Ivan Rogers
Short Books, £5.99
Buy on Amazon

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.

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.