Respecting the Referendum Result: What Brexit Satisfies the Democratic Will of the People?

As the date for the UK’s departure from the European Union draws near, the panel reflects on how the reality of the Brexit negotiations has compared to the rhetoric of the referendum campaign.

Members event, Panel Recording
2 April 2019 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

Are the difficulties Theresa May’s government has had in negotiating a satisfactory withdrawal agreement with the European Union an inevitable consequence of a mandate to deliver a narrowly, or ill-defined, concept? Or could more have been done to achieve a consensus over what Brexit means much sooner after the referendum?

Given the diverse reasons people voted to leave the EU, and the range of interpretations offered by politicians as to what ‘the people’ voted for in June 2016, are there any agreed tenets of Brexit that could guide the UK government in enacting the ‘democratic will of the people’?

And as Brexiteers reflect on the last two and a half years of public and political discourse, how has the reality of Brexit tallied with the hopes and expectations of leavers during the referendum campaign?


Janet Daley, Columnist, The Telegraph

Sir Richard Dearlove, Head, MI6 (1999-2004)

Professor Matthew Goodwin, Senior Visiting Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House

Antoinette Sandbach, Member of Parliament for Eddisbury

Chair: Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, King’s College London; Director, UK in a Changing Europe

Become an individual member

Individual membership provides you with the complete Chatham House experience, connecting you with a unique global policy community.

A member takes the opportunity to ask the panel a question at our event on the digital revolution.
Find out more Auto insert on member events