Which are the best books to get a better understanding of Brexit? For an economic perspective, we asked economics professor Jonathan Portes for his book recommendations in early 2017, less than a year after Britain's momentous decision. For more of a political/historical perspective, we turned to novelist Boris Starling, author of The Bluffer's Guide to Brexit. Our most recent interview on books to read about Brexit is with Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at Kings College London and Director of the UK in a Changing Europe project.
Andrew Hindmoor's best books on Modern British history includes Sunday Times journalist Tim Shipmans' second book in his highly readable (and often very funny) Brexit trilogy. It's called Fallout and follows the travails of Theresa May (and her special advisers, Nick and Fiona) as they try to implement Brexit
While on the subject of humour, if political satire is the prism through which you'd like to read about Brexit, there is a book specially for you: the Cockroach by Ian McEwan. That one of Britain's most distinguished novelists (and also a Five Books interviewee) should write a book where the prime minister and most of his cabinet are cockroaches, is a startling and rather shocking indication of the ruptures Brexit has caused in British society. The audiobook, read by British comic actor Bill Nighy, is still very funny.
Last but not least, if spy novels are your thing, it turns out even John Le Carré has written a Brexit book with his thriller, Agent Running in the Field. Le Carré died in December 2020, so it may well be the last book written by the greatest spy novelist of the 20th century.
Brexitland: Identity, Diversity and the Reshaping of British Politics
by Maria Sobolewska & Robert Ford
There's Nothing For You Here
by Fiona Hill
Brexit and British Politics
by Anand Menon & Geoffrey Evans
Listen, Liberal: or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?
by Thomas Frank
The British General Election of 2019
by Paula Surridge, Robert Ford, Tim Bale & Will Jennings
Brexit shook British politics in 2016 and, six years on, its long-term consequences both for the UK and for the European Union remain highly uncertain. Here political scientist and Brexit expert Anand Menon recommends books to help you understand Brexit, what caused it and why, and puts those trends in a wider global political context.
Looking for a good Brexit book? Brexit is as complicated as the Schleswig-Holstein question and as vicious as Game of Thrones. Boris Starling, author of The Bluffer’s Guide to Brexit, talks us through some Brexit books that will leave you better read and even more mystified about what the future holds for Britain and Europe.
What Next: How to get the best from Brexit
by Daniel Hannan
Brexit Beckons: Thinking ahead by leading economists
by Richard Baldwin (ed)
Branching histories of the 2016 referendum and ‘the frogs before the storm’
by Dominic Cummings
Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union
by Harold Clarke, Matthew Goodwin & Paul Whiteley
by Ali Smith
Why did Brexit happen? What does the future hold for Britain outside the European Union? Can trade economists help? The economist and former head of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a non-partisan think tank, recommends the best books (and one blogpost) on Brexit.