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An optimistic forecast concerning the inconsistent ambitions of Lexiters and Brexiters

Summary:
David Chivers, [AP in macro at Durham University], wrote today: We can debate just where the electorate agree on post Brexit plans.  But they surely do not agree with all of them.   Not least because they are not consistent with each other. This leads us to the natural observation that an additional barrier for Lexiters and Brexiters is each other.  Lexiters seek a trajectory to socialism.  Right wing Brexiters – as well as former centrist Remainers – will oppose that vehemently.  They are split amongst themselves, of course: one lot focused on the ideological paraphernalia of nationalism, the other on a rather hazily and abstractly sketched ideology of deregulation and free markets. Neither side seems to fear the strategic success of the other in the post Brexit world.   As a

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David Chivers, [AP in macro at Durham University], wrote today:

An optimistic forecast concerning the inconsistent ambitions of Lexiters and Brexiters

We can debate just where the electorate agree on post Brexit plans.  But they surely do not agree with all of them.   Not least because they are not consistent with each other.

This leads us to the natural observation that an additional barrier for Lexiters and Brexiters is each other.  Lexiters seek a trajectory to socialism.  Right wing Brexiters – as well as former centrist Remainers – will oppose that vehemently.  They are split amongst themselves, of course: one lot focused on the ideological paraphernalia of nationalism, the other on a rather hazily and abstractly sketched ideology of deregulation and free markets.

Neither side seems to fear the strategic success of the other in the post Brexit world.   As a glance at the variation in state size, tax rates, public service quality, across the EU will reveal, the EU permits quite a lot of different compacts with a country’s people.  But it does provide a certain anchor, or insurance against the extremes of socialist interventionism and deregulation.  [Just how effective that insurance is we are seeing tested in Italy, Hungary and Poland.]

Lexiters and right-wing Brexiters rightly see Brexit as a necessary step toward their goals.  But often communicate as though they are deluded about its sufficiency.

If you think we would be better off remaining in the EU, precisely because of the institutional anchor it provides, one might draw comfort from the fact that in a post Brexit world, there is some hope that the many leave forces – Lexiters, nationalist and libertarian Brexiters – will cancel each others’ efforts out, each dragging the country a little way, ineffectually one way, before another gets a turn and reverse course, allowing the average policy combination to remain roughly where it is.

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Tony Yates
Economist. Consulting, lecturing, a book. Ex Prof at Bham, Ex BoE staffer. Macro, policy, monetary econ, occasional nonsense.

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