The question was simple enough:
a) Remain a member of the European Union
b) Leave the European Union
b won and there are no ifs and buts but a clear vote to leave the complete EU.
The question was indeed simple. Option A, that is remain, is indeed very simple. Option B, on the face of it also looks simple. But throughout the campaign, option B was never properly defined and mostly misrepresented. It took on many guises.
Overall, the message was that we would strike some fantastical deal with the EU where we would keep all the advantages but still, somehow, leave. Some Leavers said achieving this would be easy (that person has now resigned from the cabinet). Others explained how the EU would just role over and do as we said.
Most importantly, anyone who challenged the Leave campaign was accused of fear mongering. The issues were never really discussed. As a result, 2 years after the referendum result, no one can really agree on what option B means. The Government has had three tries at defining option B. The latest resulting in a bunch of cabinet resignations.
This was a stupid referendum. The question was flawed. The campaign was ridiculous. The execution of the result has been a shambles.
For what it matters - I believe option B means leave with no deal. If you try and strike a deal with the EU, you will get a bunch of other stuff come with it which will mean you never truly leave. Deep down, I think most politicians know this is damaging to the UK.