The second in the Bite-Sized Brexit books, this unique volume is edited by John Mair, Neil Fowler and Alec De Ruyter. As the UK prepares to Brexit – softish or hard – on 29 March 2019, it gives a platform to the academic Brexiteers – the ABs – those who provide the intellectual firepower for the louder up-front politicians like Boris Johnson and David Davis.
The ABs are the provisional thinking arm of Britain’s Brexit army. They were the fringe for many decades, today they are the mainstream – 17.4m voters put them there on 23 June 2016 in the Great Referendum. They are economists (many ‘free traders’ like Patrick Minford and David Paton), historians like Robert Tombs, and those who ‘jumped ship’ like John Mills of Labour Leave. The years in the intellectual wilderness has taken its toll. Much of their scholarship comes from within a ‘Brexit Bubble’ of the like-minded. If they disagree with the results of a particular economic model they invent their own. Their arguments are not always that easy to follow or indeed to swallow. We leave the reader to judge their worth.
The grandfather of the political Brexiteers is the (newly ennobled) Sir John Redwood MP. He is a serial Eurosceptic and has been one for decades. His voice has always been prominent in the case against the EU. He headed Margaret Thatcher’s Policy Unit and later served as Welsh Secretary in her Cabinet. That did not stop her successor John Major labelling him one of the Tory Eurosceptic ‘bastards’ in 1993.In his foreword , specially written for this book, ‘Still true in 2018 as it was in 2016’ Sir John lauds the result as “a good decision, taken to restore democratic control over our laws, our money and our borders. It is Parliament’s job as promised to implement it promptly and well”.
John Mair and Neil Fowler are working in partnership with Professor Alex De Ruyter of the Birmingham City University Centre for Brexit Studies and Bite-Sized Books to publish the Bite-Sized Brexit Books.