The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570   Message #3986113
Posted By: DMcG
06-Apr-19 - 04:51 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
There's also the matter of differing food-safety standards....

You are absolutely right, Bonnie, there is far more to it than a simple financial balance sheet. The regulations are important, the social rights and benefits of your citizens are important, the environmental aspects are important ... It goes on and on. That's why I said "purely economics" a couple of times. It is not that the rest of that does not matter, it is that even if you restrict yourself just to the economic argument the case to leave is feeble according to all but one relatively tiny segment of the economists.

Moving onto David Carter's point: again, I agree. Assessment of whether a trade agreement is to your benefit or not is horrendously complicated and also time dependent. You might carry out a vast and sophisticated assessment and come a conclusion then something like the OPEC oil agreements come along and change everything. Economics is not 'truth', it is more like a formal encoding of a decision process, which is only ever as good as your base assumptions.   But, to take a trivial example, suppose decide to enter into a 5 year trade agreement with one country to trade in a certain way, but then another country becomes a potential supplier who can provide the same thing cheaper but differing in some other way. You have to make an assessment to stay with your original supplier, switch or take a proportion from each. That is an unavoidable decision - even not thinking about implicitly decides to stay as you are - and businesses and countries have to do that all the time. Just being immensely difficult and risky due to uncertainties doesn't stop you having to do so, either explicitly or implicitly,