Hundreds of members of the public have funded a project to deliver an easy-to-read guide to leaving the EU to the country’s politicians.
After a crowd-funding campaign raised almost £6,000 in weeks, copies of Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? by Ian Dunt will be sent to 972 members of the national and devolved parliaments.
The Brexit Book Club was set up by a reader concerned at the quality of debate about the UK’s future following the referendum vote to leave the EU in June 2016.
AC Grayling, the philosopher, contributed £100, writing: “Harrass every MP until they have read Dunt’s book.”
Billed as “the ultimate guide to Brexit”, Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? sets out the different options for leaving the EU and the problems that could result from a sharp and sudden exit.
Among them are the difficulty of laying down new trading arrangements at the World Trade Organisation and length of time it will take Britain establish trade deals with other countries.
Politicians usually send leaflets on important issues to households, but in this case the roles have been reversed, with members of the public trying to educate politicians on an issue before Article 50 negotiations start in March.
Oxfordshire software engineer Justen Hyde, who launched the Brexit Book Club, said:
“I've been amazed by the support we've received. A lot of people clearly share a great deal of frustration about the apparent lack of serious, constructive work towards negotiating a workable plan for dealing with the outcome of the referendum.
“I hope the fact that members of the public are sufficiently concerned that they've paid to send a book will help in a small way to persuade our elected representatives to lift their eyes from party politics and short-term Brexit fever and begin working on a rigorous, consensual and thoughtful plan to move us forwards.”
“This isn't about being pro-Remain or pro-Leave. It's about being calm, open, balanced and effective.”
Hyde, who did not previously know the book’s author or anyone at Canbury Press prior to reading the book, launched the campaign on 8 December with a target of £3,506.
After hitting that in a week, he set a “stretch goal” of £5,768 to send the book for the devolved assemblies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. After sailing past that on Saturday 7 January, a new goal to send the book to members of the London Assembly was set and reached minutes before the deadline on Saturday.
While the appeal has closed, members of the public can still put their name to a letter, asking their MP to read Dunt’s book and to set out their thoughts on its key issues at www.brexitbook.club/sign.html
Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?
Everything You Need to Know About Britain's Divorce from Europe
Amazon: £5.59 (£8.58 inc £2.99 P&P)
Canbury Press: £7.99 (£9.24 inc £1.25 P&P)
- An easy to read paperback on how Brexit will change Britain,
based on conversations with European trade, politics and legal experts