A not entirely accurate map Credit - Wik

How’s this for a little litany which ends up insisting that Brexit shouldn’t in fact take place?

Everyone agrees that Brexit must not harm our economy. Everyone also agrees that we will need a customs arrangement that allows frictionless trade, coupled with the ability to access the single market without barriers, if not be a member of it.

Well, no, everyone doesn’t agree upon those things. I don’t for example and even all minus Tim Worstall isn’t everyone, is it?

It’s entirely true that we’d prefer Brexit not damage our economy. We’d most certainly prefer a frictionless trade agreement, no barriers to the single market sounds good too.

But what are the costs of those things? Are they greater than the prize which will be won by having them?

The answer being yes – for this is the very Brexit calculation itself. Gaining those things means subjecting ourselves to the entirety of EU regulation upon all things. The point of Brexit being to free ourselves from those regulations – that’s the decision we’ve already made by voting to leave.

So it’s not actually everyone does agree now, is it? In fact, 52% of those who bothered to express an opinion on the matter disagreed with those contentions. Which is very much less than all minus Tim Worstall, isn’t it, even it’s fewer than everyone?

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    • The Revolutionary War between the 13 Colonies and Britain was largely about the Colonies wanting out of a Customs Union and Single Market… crony protectionism for British merchants and companies like the East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company through whom the Colonists were obliged to buy and sell import/exports. Therefore the Colonists were not able to make trade deals with other Countries.

      And of course they were being ruled by a distant government for the benefit of its cronies, not for the benefit of the Colonists, and by people not elected by or accountable to the Colonists.

      Sound familiar?

  1. Remember that ‘harm’ means the economy not growing quite as fast as it might have done. It’s portrayed as an actual reduction in economic activity when it is not.

    That’s assuming you even believe the reduction in the rate of growth theory. Entirely possible that we grow the economy faster once free of the EU.

    • Entirely likely, in fact, unless home-grown substitutes (Trade Remedies Authority) prove as damaging as their EU models have proven; and even then, those in charge will be closer to the British voter than a Eurocrat or MEP is. Any change retards growth temporarily, as some resources must shift into adapting to the change; the claim that this must be avoided is a generic argument against ever doing anything different.

  2. So The Giradanu is obviously in favour of maximising UK arm sales to evil* regimes. After all, choosing not to sell arms will reduce the size of the economy, and (as we now see) that’s the only consideration that matters in any political decision. How lovely to be on the Left, where intellectual and moral consistency matters not one jot.

    * ‘evil’ in this case being those the Graun disapproves of

  3. Brexit will certainly cause prices to fluctuate. As does allowing illegal entry, allowing legal entry (tourists bid up prices in the shops!), allowing foreign workers, and allowing cross-border commerce. Someone will be “harmed” by any price fluctuation. By the way, someone else will be helped. The remedy (price controls, job protection, and government “retraining”) is worse than the disease. And, no, we are not unanimous.

  4. Has anyone calculated the damage to the UK economy of staying in the EU or the/a Customs Unions or the/a Single market?

    It is a feature of modern debate about just about anything, that the protagonists for the status quo, or their favoured action, assume it has zero cost and anything else has enormous (unquantified) cost.