Simplify, simplify, simplify! (Thoreau)

In the face of very complex sets of challenges, good policy strategy generally seeks simplification, based on a fundamental recognition that the issues are just too difficult to resolve “in one go”. Brexit is, and was from the outset, a complex set of challenges.

The simplification desired is achieved by focusing on developing policy algorithms or heuristics, a practical approach to problem-solving, that will, iteratively, discover the most favourable next steps to take. The templates for these things can be very simple, but, once established, what comes next is guided by discovered facts.

The UK government never developed an initial Brexit strategy and what has followed has been largely a fact-free exercise (although there has been a surfeit of myths, presumptions and assumed facts).