Actually that slightly understates it – more like 122 days, and the nonsense is likely to continue for some time afterwards. That’s because when people talk about the EU they tend (and this is both the pros and cons) to spout nonsense.
In an effort to fight off some of the more egregious nonsense before it gains too much traction, I’ve put together a few things fact checking some of the claims being made by each side.
First off, here’s a video piece I’ve made on how to survive the EU referendum campaign:
Navigate your way through the Brexit campaign with economics editor Ed Conway’s three big rules, including the big and small numbers, as well as what the alt…
Here’s a longer online article on the Sky News website with more info about the survival guide.
I also wrote about this in my column in today’s Times. You can read the whole thing here (£) but for me the key over-arching point is the following:
Crucially, those voting in Scotland had two relatively clear options: stay in the UK with slightly more devolution, or choose independence and the route laid out in the Scottish White Paper.
As of today there is no straightforward choice on offer in the EU referendum. Voters must choose between the status quo and, well, something else. That might mean ditching EU membership and reconstituting the UK as Norway or Switzerland; it could mean aping Singapore or Canada; it could even mean a second referendum and a lengthy renegotiation that plonks Britain back inside the EU. On the flipside, it could mean shutting down immigration, raising the drawbridge and retreating from globalisation. So far, the Leave camp has been unable or unwilling to provide the voters with a clear, single vision, leaving those in favour of Brexit free to sketch out different versions.
As such, it is impossible for the time being to offer a comprehensive economic analysis.
You can read the rest of the column here. That said, there will be plenty more to say on the referendum, and the rationale behind it in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, a few links:
- Jeremy Cliffe, The Economist’s Bagehot columnist, is very good on the question of sovereignty, and whether leaving the EU would really amount to much of an increase in sovereignty. Boris Johnson is wrong: in the 21st century, sovereignty is always relative.
- Michael Gove’s statement on why he’s voting to leave is worth reading in full.
- Open Europe’s response to David Cameron’s deal is comprehensive and useful, as is the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance’s report on Life after Brexit.