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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > November 2017 > Peering over the cliff-edge

Peering over the cliff-edge

Dominic Cummings, the brains behind Brexit, fears it’s turning into a disaster

“Theresa May and David Davis have provided a case study of grotesque uselessness” in their approach to Brexit. This comment was not made to Prospect by one of the usual “Remainer” suspects, but by Dominic Cummings, the Vote Leave mastermind.

Negotiations with the EU are in a dire state. Britain faces its biggest constitutional challenge ever—and is on the verge of cocking it up. Cummings, the official “Leave” campaign’s former director and long-term aide to Michael Gove, is extremely clever— but comes with a reputation for being a little too-clever-by-half. He has written online treatises, running to many thousands of words, on the careful calculations that inclined him to think that—on balance—Britain was better off taking the punt on Leave, and the thinking behind his ruthlessly effective campaign. He has been withering about David Cameron, ridiculing him as “the guy in No 10 watching Netflix with a glass of red in his paw”, and is no politer about May today. “It was crazy” of her “to trigger Article 50 without preparations first and even more crazy to sit around and still not prepare”, he said. “If there’s no deal, there will be significant problems that were completely avoidable.”

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In Prospect’s November issue: Joris Luyendijk and Stuart Ward try to uncover the way Britain is perceived by Europe and the rest of the world. Luyendijk—who lived in Britain for six years before recently moving back to his native Netherlands—explains that the Brexit vote has shown Europe that Britain needs time alone to find its identity again, while Ward—a native Australian—argues that its Britain’s imperial backstory that stops it from truly understanding what the world thinks of it. Elsewhere in the issue Jeffrey Lewis argues that US foreign policy has helped North Korea develop the nuclear bomb and we explore the effect that the Palestinian museum near Ramallah is having on the creation of a national identity. Also in this issue: Sameer Rahim profiles Armando Iannucci, Joseph Stiglitz on Britain’s tricky political situation.
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