Latest Issue

The transition has ended. But what’s happening in the parallel universe where we never left the EU?

Everything and nothing would be different

By Rachel Sylvester  

He could have won in 2016—but the victory would have been short-lived. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

Shortly after the UK voted to Leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, Dominic Cummings wrote a blog. “Reality has branching histories, not ‘a big why’,” the director of the Vote Leave campaign wrote. “The branching histories are forgotten” in retrospect “and the actual branch taken, often because of some relatively trivial event casting a huge shadow, seems overwhelmingly probable.”

But Cummings argued that the “cold reality” of the Brexit referendum was that the eventual outcome was far from inevitable. If Michael Gove had stayed out of the campaign then Vote Leave would almost certainly have collapsed or been…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect