Sunday, July 3, 2016

Brexit and Fuzzy Logic

The Brexit issue defies binary logic. The UK was not cleary inside the EU ten days ago, and will most probably not be clearly outside the EU 10 years from now. I would recommend not accepting a bet about whether the UK will eventually be in or out of the EU some day in the future. It will be impossible to prove whether you won or you lost the bet. In my view, the relationship of the UK element with the EU set is a clear case of fuzzy logic.
That’s one of the reasons why binary sovereignty plebiscites are a bad idea: the in/out referendum projects an impression of false clarity when the issue is complex and ill defined.

Financial markets after the first week have not been as negative as some had expected. But contrary to what Krugman argues (as you can see, I am high in self-esteem today) perhaps it is not because Brexit is not so bad in the short run, but because Brexit has actually not taken place. The leaders of Brexit are divided, the UK government does not want to invoke article 50 yet, and a new consensus is evolving by which the UK basically wants to keep all the rights and obligations of EU membership perhaps without sitting in the (main) table. Among other reasons to avoid the break-up of the UK itself. I am not the first to argue that sovereignty events are difficult to interpret: does a setback to anti-secessionists increase or decrease the probability that secession will take place? Well, it depends on the evolution of subsequent events. And events after the referendum have not been very good news for the brexiteers. They are not only divided but they have been exposed as liars and reckless. It is not clear at all that they are prevailing.

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