‘Betcha we don’t leave.’ I wrote that on the evening of 24 June 2016, once the euphoria had passed. A lot of us leavers, despite being elderly and thick, knew. The establishment wouldn’t let it happen.
Quite how the establishment stopped us from leaving the European Union, though, we could never have guessed. A mandate which became a process and resulted in the UK being the laughing stock of the world. We might have guessed at the relentless howls of outrage from that extreme block of transgressed remainers, the hostility of the House of Commons, the civil service and the BBC. That was a given, and it all played its part. But beyond our imagination was the readiness of politicians to ignore or subvert the vote, the sheer ineptitude of those charged with negotiating our withdrawal, the spite of the EU and the intercession of that usual thing, events.
The Great Betrayal tells the story of a failed Brexit and a betrayal of the British people, drawn from interviews with those at the very centre of what became, in the end, a surreal charade.