Latest Issue

Why the Brexiteers can’t claim a mandate for leaving the customs union

They never mentioned it before the referendum

By Steve Bloomfield  

Britain's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove leaves Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting, London on February 27, 2018. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

For a vote that simply asked whether Britain should remain in the European Union or leave, the Brexit referendum appears to have been about rather a lot of different issues. It was about immigration, economic insecurity, a lack of investment in the Northeast/Wales/whichever-traditional-Labour-region-the-speaker-is-from, control over laws, sovereignty, trade. And now, according to Brexiteer cabinet ministers, it appears that the vote was about the customs union.

Ahead of…

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