Peter Foster, "What Went Wrong with Brexit? And What We Can Do about It" (Canongate, 2023)


It’s been over three years since the UK withdrew from the EU and no one – not even the most ardent Brexiter – thinks it has gone well so far. Defending the cause after yet another summertime setback, the best Matthew Lesh from the Institute of Economic Affairs could offer was: “Brexit simply means that British representatives can make … choices, not that they must point in any particular direction”.

Ever since the British voted to leave the EU in 2016, millions of words have been written for and against the process but Peter Foster’s What Went Wrong With Brexit: And What We Can Do About (Canongate Books, 2023) is the first book to assess the deep economic scars left by Brexit and provide politically realistic palliatives. He writes: "There is little mileage in relitigating the history of Brexit - as the saying goes, 'we are where we are' - but that does not mean accepting that the UK has to remain in its current state of Brexit purgatory".

Since 2020, Peter Foster has been the Financial Times's public policy editor and writer of its Britain After Brexit newsletter. Before that, he was a longtime reporter for The Telegraph - working in New Delhi, Beijing, Washington and as Europe Editor between 2015 and 2020. During this critical five-year period, he became – along with RTÉ’s Tony Connelly – the indispensable Brexit reporter, breaking stories, explaining this intricate and unprecedented divorce, and building huge Twitter followings.

*The author's own book recommendations are The Light that Failed: A Reckoning by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes (Allen Lane, 2019) and The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Picador, 2006).

Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors, who also writes the twenty4two newsletter on Substack and hosts the In The Room podcast series.

Your Host

Tim Jones

Tim Gwynn Jones is an economic and political-risk analyst at Medley Advisors .

View Profile