It's not possible to say what will happen after Brexit


We're rather encouraged by this little report into the effects of Britain leaving (or not) the European Union:

British companies could be forced to put up prices to the consumer or even be forced out of business by a ‘Brexit’ from the European Union, according to a report by Oxford academics.

No, not that bit, this bit:

It added that the overall economic impact of Brexit through changes to the country’s immigration policies were “not possible” to predict with certainty ahead of the referendum. The report said “confident predictions about the economic effects of migration after Brexit should be treated with caution”.

Some of us here have very strong views indeed about this Brexit process but we'll not inflict them upon you here. However, that point strikes us as being exactly correct. For it is impossible to state with any certainty what the economic effects of Brexit would be.

For what those effects would be, will be, depend upon the economic policies that are adopted once free of the shackles of Brussels*. If Britain adopts unilateral free trade then, as Patrick Minford has pointed out, the economy will grow. If immigration of low wage workers is curtailed then businesses which employ low wage workers will have a hard time of it, indigenous workers will start to see higher wages. What happens after Brexit depends upon the policies adopted after it, not on the leaving itself.

Thus all reports predicting either disaster or nirvana from the leaving itself should be regarded with the utmost suspicion.

*It could be that you could divine the views of one of us on this subject.