Sunday, May 29, 2016
The Brexit campaign concedes defeat on the economy
According to what I heard today in the BBC, the "Brexit" campaign has conceded defeat on the economy, and they are only focusing on immigration now. In the "Andrew Marr Show" program, the former Greek minister and economist, Iannis Varoufakis, and the former British Primer Minister Tony Blair, who basically hate each other, agreed that there is no economic argument in favour of leaving the EU. Varoufakis claimed that the only winning argument for the Brexit campaign could be about sovereignty and democracy (although he did no go into the details), but that Brexit leaders are not even focusing into that, and instead only talk about immigration, trying to awake xenophobic fears among the voters. It is not surprising that the campaign to leave the UK has conceded defeat on the economy, because according to a poll 9 out of 10 British economists reject leaving the EU. It is very difficult to find a similar level of consensus about any other topic among economists. As for sovereignty, what the British voters and voters all over Europe should care about is how to re-establish sovereignty and democracy at each relevant level, and forget about old notions about monopolistic national sovereignty. This is what newspaper The Observer had to say today: "Those surveyed were members of the profession’s most respected representative bodies, the Royal Economic Society and the Society of Business Economists, and all who replied did so voluntarily. Paul Johnson, director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the findings, from a survey unprecedented in its scale, showed an extraordinary level of unity. “For a profession known to agree about little, it is pretty remarkable to see this degree of consensus about anything,” Johnson said. “It no doubt reflects the level of agreement among many economists about the benefits of free trade and the costs of uncertainty for economic growth. The poll also found a majority of respondents – 57% – held the view that a vote for Brexit on 23 June would blow a hole in economic growth, cutting GDP by more than 3% over the next five years. Just 5% thought that there would probably be a positive impact.The economists were also overwhelmingly pessimistic about the long-term economic impact of leaving the EU and the single market. Some 72% said that a vote to leave would most likely have a negative impact on growth for 10-20 years."