Summary of The Inside Story of How David Cameron Drove Britain to Brexit

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The Brexit vote marks a watershed moment in British history. Newspapers have produced many different assessments of what pushed voters to support the “leave” campaign, but how former British prime minister David Cameron’s approach to the EU led the country toward Brexit has received little attention thus far. Ivan Rogers was the UK permanent representative to the European Union under Cameron. In his speech at Oxford’s Hertford College, he chronicles the period that led up to the Brexit vote. getAbstract appreciates this exclusive inside perspective.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How David Cameron tried to assuage Euroskeptics within his party and keep the United Kingdom inside the EU Single Market and
  • How the eurozone crisis threw a wrench into Cameron’s political calculations.

About the Author

Ivan Rogers was the UK permanent representative of the UK to the European Union from 2013-2017, serving under British prime minister David Cameron.



After becoming British prime minister, David Cameron supported the European Union Act of 2011, as passed by the British Parliament, which made any changes to the EU Treaty subject to a popular referendum. Cameron hoped the act would assuage the Euroskeptics in his party and allow the government to refocus on domestic policy priorities that were mostly outside the realm of EU regulation. When the financial crisis forced Britain to weigh in on treaty modifications aimed at saving the euro zone, Conservatives accused the government of sacrificing UK interests to French- and German-led efforts. In response to these sentiments, Cameron attempted to negotiate certain treaty changes but he found himself shut out of critical financial decisions related to tackling the debt crisis. Still, Cameron tried to stay the course: keeping the United Kingdom inside the common market while remaining outside the monetary and banking union that would have prompted further political integration. He also proposed creation of different EU membership types that would allow Britain to maintain its sovereignty.

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