Brexit
A woman reads a newspaper on the underground in London with a 'vote remain' advert for the EU referendum. , June 22, 2016. Reuters, June 22, 2016

Imagine that you truly wanted to reverse Brexit. Suppose that staying in the EU – as opposed to insulting Eurosceptics, flaunting your piety or letting off steam in general – were your sole aim. How would you go about it?

It's hardly my place to offer advice, but here are some thoughts which would, in normal circumstances, be uncontroversial.

1. Try to understand Leavers. Don't call them stupid old racists. Don't publicly look forward to their deaths, so that the electoral maths might change. You never persuade people by insulting them.

2. Don't revel in bad news. Gleefully repeating and retweeting every pessimistic forecast, while studiously ignoring the evidence of growing output and employment, is not a good look. Appearing to wish for disaster so as to be able to say "I told you so!" is about the worst look you can have in politics.

3. Don't side with Brussels. Don't keep scuttling off for meetings with EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Don't Tweet at the Irish PM telling him to get tough with Britain (yes, Alastair Campbell, I mean you). Far from convincing moderate Leavers, this succeeds only in alienating moderate Remainers, who want the best outcome for Britain.

4. Don't undermine our negotiators. It's fine to have a different view about where you'd like to go, but voting – as Labour MEPs and two Tories did – not to move on to trade talks is not an alternative strategy; it is a straightforward wrecking manoeuvre.

5. If you want another referendum, change the proposition. If people are asked the same question again, they will respond as anyone does in that situation: by repeating themselves with added emphasis. So find a deal that can plausibly be called a new arrangement.

6. Instead of shouting at ministers through a megaphone, use your quiet influence with your friends in Brussels. See if you can't get a looser deal, such as David Cameron failed to secure in the renegotiation. I don't say "a better deal".

Although British Eurosceptics might call it that, Eurocrats would regard a stepping back from various common policies and institutions as a worse deal. But the point is, you could then maintain the legal continuity of the EU, with Britain assuming some sort of associate membership.

7. It would be very difficult for anyone to resist a referendum on such a proposal. And, given the narrowness of the last vote, it would almost certainly be carried. So keep your powder dry. Don't say things that might come across as sulky, petulant, snobbish, anti-democratic or anti-British. You'll need all your credibility for the next ballot.

8. By the same token, don't do anything that encourages Brussels to toughen its position. If Eurocrats think that they can somehow bully Britain into changing its mind, they won't contemplate new arrangements.

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9. Be eminently reasonable. Stress that there are bits of the current deal that we can all agree are wrong – the Common Agricultural Policy, say – and see if you can't get an equivalent agreement that there are bits we all want to keep, such as the rules that prohibit discrimination against goods on grounds of national origin.

10. Remember, above all, that your goal is to win. Don't indulge yourself getting into gratuitous Twitter spats. Don't show off to your fellow Remainers by trying to be angrier than the next chap. Don't use apocalyptic language which ordinary people find laughable. Don't be peevish.

A short list. But long enough, I hope, to show how Remainers threw away a potentially strong position after a narrow outcome, and made Brexit certain.