Forecasting Blog

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The referendum on British exit from the European Union is a symptom of the rise of the politics of identity over the politics of prosperity in Europe. Both sides in this debate make forecasts of the economic consequences of the referendum outcome, but the Brexit camp is more focused on national identity.

Forecasting organisations, barring a couple of dissenters, have expressed fears of a sharp decline in the economy, at least in the short run, if the Brexit camp wins. The Brexit camp counters these gloomy forecasts asserting that the economy would adjust to a new pattern of trade in no time and enter into a new era of prosperity by leaving the EU. In any event, these arguments about economic forecasts are considered simply as a distraction by those that wish to leave. The Brexit camp places greater store on sovereignty -- taking control over the legal definition of human rights without interference by international courts, dispensing with much of the regulations governing commerce and industry, and setting rules for immigration free of treaty obligations. There is considerable fuzziness in the arguments made by both sides.