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Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU divided the nation, unleashing years of political turmoil. Today, many remain unreconciled to Brexit whilst, in a tragic irony, some of those most committed to it are angry and dissatisfied with what was delivered.

In this clear-headed assessment, Chris Grey argues that this painful legacy was all but inevitable, skilfully unpacking how and why the promise of Brexit dissolved during the confusing and often dramatic events that followed the referendum.

Now fully updated with an afterword covering each element of the Brexit debate since the end of the transition period in 2021, this new edition remains the essential guide to one of the most bitterly contested issues of our time.


Brexit Unfolded is a must-read for anyone who cares about what happened following the momentous decision Britain took in the 2016 referendum. Grey is not a neutral observer, but his analysis is scholarly and balanced. He writes with engaging clarity as he navigates through toxic headlines and political slogans. It will be a long time before this illuminating account is rivalled.” 

Jonathan Dimbleby, broadcaster and author

“Chris Grey has blown away the fog and obfuscation surrounding Brexit and revealed it in all its stark wretchedness. His writing is thrilling; his conclusions, tragic.”

Sarah Carey, columnist, Irish Independent

“It is hard to imagine a clearer, more detailed, more dispassionate analysis of the journey and execution of the UK’s departure from the European Union than this brilliant and readable book by Chris Grey. Everyone who cares about the issue, for and against, needs this level of expertise and knowledge at their fingertips. Masterly.” 

Howard Goodall CBE, composer and broadcaster

“An absolutely compelling account of how Brexit first muddied and then poisoned the well of political debate in Britain and left us with a reputation for political untrustworthiness which still haunts our relations with the EU.  Above all, it’s a searing account of the deep failure of political leadership in our country at a moment when it was so desperately needed.”


Caroline Lucas MP, former leader of the Green Party and former MEP

“A fascinating, thoughtful, clear and authoritative analysis of Brexit and its ongoing aftermath.” 

Professor Brian Cox, physicist and broadcaster

“Chris Grey is one of a kind: perceptive, brutal, forensic, eloquent and fair. Like all his work, this book bulges with masterful, well-judged analysis. There’s simply no better guide to Brexit.”

Ian Dunt, author of How Westminster Works… and Why It Doesn’t

“This book confirms Chris Grey’s status as one of the most acute and authoritative analysts of Brexit. Forensically detailed yet approachably written, this fully updated edition provides invaluable perspective on what looks destined to become one of the greatest public policy disasters of the twenty-first century. If you want to understand why, there really is no better guide to the whole sorry mess.”

Tim Bale, Professor of Politics, Queen Mary University of London

“We all owe a debt to Chris Grey. Where the claims for Brexit are shrouded in post-truth, Brexit Unfolded records the truth. This important book is not just a historical record – it is a vital foundation for anyone trying to work out how Britain can move forward.”

David Miliband, former Foreign Secretary

“With his exquisitely lucid analysis, Chris Grey does something no politician has so far achieved – he makes sense of the messy contradictions and frustrations of Brexit.”

Rafael Behr, columnist and author of Politics: A Survivor’s Guide

“A superbly written chronicle of how Britain chaotically cut ties with its closest economic partners. Chris Grey’s rigorous analysis of how Brexit unfolded should be mandatory reading for anyone who cares about politics.”

Shona Murray, Europe correspondent, Euronews
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  • Paperback, 384 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785908279
  • 14 September 2023
  • £10.99
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  • ISBN: 9781785906930
  • 14 September 2023
  • £6.99
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