Taking back control? Brexit seems to offer exactly the opposite

Parliament is trapped in gridlock and as deeply divided as the country over Brexit, while on the streets and in the House the rancour is getting ever louder

Towards the end of the Channel 4 drama Brexit: The Uncivil War which was broadcast last Monday evening, the leaders of the rival Remain and Leave campaigns meet in a central London bar. By coincidence Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s then director of communications, and Dominic Cummings, director of Vote Leave and inventor of the slogan “take back control”, spot one another across platforms at Moorgate tube station. They had regular rows when they worked as Tory advisers before the campaign began and have been at daggers drawn throughout it. But both are physically and emotionally exhausted as voting day approaches and – in an encounter Oliver has insisted was fictional – they agree to talk over a pint.

It is shortly after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by a right-wing extremist in her West Yorkshire constituency. Oliver clearly feels things are slipping away from Remain. Sitting opposite his foe, the look on his face betrays his grim and growing realisation that Cummings is winning the war and heading for a stunning victory with unimaginable consequences for the country – albeit, he feels, by employing the basest of campaigning methods.

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