Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?

Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? : Everything You Need to Know About Britain's Divorce from Europe

4.35 (256 ratings by Goodreads)
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Britain's departure from the European Union is filled with propaganda and myth but the risks are very real. Brexit could lower global status of the United Kingdom, diminish its quality of life, and throw its legal system into turmoil.

With the help of constitutional and trade experts, Ian Dunt, editor of, explains why exiting the EU is likely to:

make the UK poorer
leave industries like pharmaceuticals and finance struggling to operate
threatens to break up the United Kingdom

The book deals with the trade and legal cliff edge that Britain will face unless it can secure a transitional deal with the European Union, why the odds are stacked against the UK government in its negotiations with Brussels, and how the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is not the cure to leaving the EU that the Brexiters believe.

This is the first full public exploration of Brexit, stripped of the wishful thinking of its supporters in the media and Parliament. It is the real picture of a country about to undergo a sharp and self-inflicted isolation. This book is for people who still believe in evidence and in experts.

It is the perfect accompaniment to All Out War by Tim Shipman which looks back at the referendum campaign. Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? looks forward to a volatile future. It is the best book on the impact of Brexit.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 200g
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0995497826
  • 9780995497825
  • 140,515

Review quote

I would strongly recommend Ian Dunt's excellent guide to what happens next.

Dunt has taken the extraordinary step of asking a set of experts what they think about matters of law.

This is one of the few books of the set to face forwards rather than backwards and it is all the better for that. I learnt a lot, which I find often happens when I have the humility to listen to experts.

Philip Collins, Prospect Magazine

Admirably brief and necessarily brutal.

Whatever your position during the referendum, you ought to read Dunt because he is willing to face uncomfortable facts. The only country in the world with absolute sovereignty is North Korea. Everyone else must make compromises. The only question for us is how bad a compromise we must endure.

...As for all the favours the right expects the US and Australia to give us, Dunt imagines, perfectly plausibly, the reality will be US trade officials telling our hastily assembled team of novice trade negotiators:

The UK is in a position of unique and historic vulnerability. Its economy is facing the most significant shock since the Second World War. It has no time. It has no negotiating capacity. But Washington wants to help. It is prepared to rush a trade deal through Congress. It could take less than two years. But for this to be achievable, the UK needs to accept all of its demands. The Americans slide a piece of paper across the desk. The British team read the demands: they are horrendous. But they have little option but to capitulate. The only way to protect what remains of the British economy is to sell off British sovereignty.

Nick Cohen, The Spectator

A succinct, readable synopsis of hundreds of thousands of pages of technical reports, currently careening around the panicked corridors of Whitehall.

Dunt has (presumably) not read all those documents, but he has spoken with a range of experts, and is able to provide an authoritative summary.

I couldn't have imagined, six months ago, voluntarily reading any book spending more than a few lines on the subject of tariff-rate quotas. But there is a certain grim entertainment in Dunt's revelations of elephant traps within the fine-print of international agreements, and the remorselessness with which problems proliferate.

...A major takeaway is how, as things stand, Brexit is set to fail, even on Leavers' own terms.

Richard Elwes,

Dunt's book cover is stickered with the label "For people who still believe in experts..".

...and the book itself is a tribute to the patience and the pains taken by experts in ascertaining the facts and making rational predictions based on those facts.

It is not a book for those who vote with their emotions, or by waving flags and shouting patriotic slogans.

Dunt has spoken to a large number of experts, most of whom are listed with thanks in the back of the book. They include experts on law, politics, trade, economics and diplomacy. He has not got his research off the side of a bus.

Paul McGrath, The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting
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Rating details

256 ratings
4.35 out of 5 stars
5 49% (126)
4 39% (101)
3 10% (25)
2 1% (3)
1 0% (1)
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