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March 16, 2017

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Patrick Kirk

Thanks for 4 great reasons for me to think less hard ;-)

For me, the biggest issue that the governments own experts got the immediate consequences of Brexit so laughably wrong that no-one would believe their forecasts.

Dafydd

"I was reminded of this by David Davis’ admission that the government has done no research on the costs of leaving the EU without a trade deal"

Your argument is interesting, but fails because he admitted no such thing. What Davis said was, "I cannot quantify that in detail yet. I may well do in about a years' time." Work in progress is not the same as "has done no research."

Deliberately misunderstanding someone's words in order to score a debating point is a cheap journalistic trick, the sort of thing that makes sensible discussion about public policy impossible (yet you habitually complain about the low standard of political discourse in Britain).

Either that or you couldn't be bother to read closely what he said (same points apply).

ADifferentChris

Your last point is a possible difference between utilitarian and epistemic rationalism. Epistemics pursue knowledge, as it's own reward. Utilitarians consider the personal effects. Depressives may be better predictors, but would the trade-off improve quality of life?

Your third and second points might not distinguish between real and feigned ignorance.

In your first point, was Nelson more informed than Parker?

Jim

And how much research had the Government done to assess the costs of the UK staying in the EU and facing continued demands to integrate further, maybe even adopt the euro, before making the case that we should stay?

Hugo Evans

The next step in this argument is to see the market itself not as a Hayekian information processor, but as a system for creating opacity. Not just plausible deniability, but plausible credibility and a refusal to recognise facts as the basis of good animal spirits.

D

@dafydd if they really wanted to "know" they would have done the work by now. Obviously he can't just come out and say we don't know and we're not trying to find out, so he says we don't know yet...

Dafydd

"@dafydd if they really wanted to "know" they would have done the work by now. Obviously he can't just come out and say we don't know and we're not trying to find out, so he says we don't know yet"

A perfectly tenable hypothesis. I don't, however, see any valid way of distinguishing - on current evidence - between it and the alternative hypothesis that Davis is telling the truth (observational equivalence).

But neither hypothesis is compatible with Dillow's original assertion that Davis has *admitted* that the government has done no research.

Blissex

«assess the costs of the UK staying in the EU and facing continued demands to integrate further, maybe even adopt the euro»

Because the "Fourth Reich" can simply bully a nuclear armed country with the "bravest armed forces" and the "finest intelligence services" to submit to the humiliation to "integrate further" simply by making "continued demands".

That must involve staggeringly high costs. :-)

Dipper

@Blissex - well that is the argument of various Remainers about the negotiations themselves and why we will get a bad deal. And the EU does have a history of bullying and threatening. I think Jim's point is valid.

Bob

Blissex, UK is not nuclear power. It rents nukes from USA.

greg

I suppose "I didn't know that iceberg would be there," absolves the captain of the Titanic.

Dipper

@Blissex - well they seem to have taken control of our immigration policy quite effectively.

SimonB

Interesting. However the evidence is that Davis is out of his depth rather than a strategic genius.

Richard

You are correct about Davis's incentives.

But then, it is also not surprising that people who want to avoid a hard Brexit also want a report on its cost, and will try to embarrass Davis into producing one.

In that sense, I do not agree that his critics are guilty of a naive error, as you put it.

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