The Best of Brexit

Perhaps the best thing to have come out of Brexit has been the writing. So here is a collection of my personal favourites. There are serious omissions – so feel free to suggest additions in the comments section, the best of which I will add to this list.

Two characteristics of this selection appear very biased. The writers predominantly oppose Brexit. Is this bias? I have sympathy for the principled case for Leave, which is straightforward. There is a conflict between scale and democratic accountability – and the EU may be too big to achieve acceptable levels of legitimacy. Also, the Eurocrisis was a scandal of historic proportions. These considerations play an important part – I think – in two excellent contributions below (from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Mehreen Khan). If there are well-made, informed, arguments beyond these that I have missed – I will add them.

The second characteristic of this list which appears biased is that my main sources of “information”, other than the House of Lords, is from the Centre of European Reform (and the Financial Times). Again, if I see analysis of equivalent quality from elsewhere, I will happily add to the list. But simply put, I consider the team at the CER to be among a tiny minority who could claim to be “well-informed” – a minority from which I exclude myself.

First, the information we had before the vote, and a sample of the debate:

The Centre for European Reform’s final report from its Brexit commission.

House of Lords, EU Committee report, The process of withdrawing from the European Union.

David Allen Green’s FT Blog on Article 50, and other critical legal issues.

The Telegraph, Reasons you should vote to leave the EU.

The Best of Brexit – before and after (everyone should object to at least one):

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Brexit vote is about the supremacy of Parliament and nothing else.

Frances Coppola, Grieving for lost empire.

Chris Dillow, On the causes of Brexit.

Charles Grant, Why Britain voted leave, if it does.

Charles Grant, How Brexit is changing the EU.

Charles Grant, Europe’s offer to a post-Brexit Britain.

Boris Johnson, There is only one way to get the change we want: vote to leave.

Simon Kuper, Brexit: a coup by one set of public school boys against another.

Daniel Kahneman, Voters succumb to impulse, irritation, and anger.

Steve Keen, Time to call time on EU experiment.

Jeffrey Ketland, Elite technocracy v liberal democracy.

Mehreen Khan, I am young, and I voted leave, and there are no regrets.

Paul Krugman, Motivated reasoning.

John Lanchester, Brexit Blues.

Patrick Minford, The economic case for leaving.

Jonathan Portes, The Treasury’s Brexit analysis and immigration.

Jonathan Portes, The hysteria about immigration statistics doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Jonathan Portes, The Condorcet paradox – or why a majority may be dissatisfied whatever the outcome.

Ken Rogoff, Democratic failure.

Zadie Smith, Fences.

George Soros, The only winners will be speculators.

Polly Toynbee, Brexit supporters have unleashed furies even they can’t control.

John Van Reenen, The verdict from a derided expert

Simon Wren-Lewis, Osborne’s Folly.

Simon Wren-Lewis, A referendum on taxes?.

Simon Wren-Lewis, A divided nation.

Bored of reading? Mark Blyth on YouTube Have you heard of Trump?.

Finally, to be clear about the curator’s bias. My own reflections on Brexit are outlined in these two posts: Old myths, new problems, and Brexit: everybody got it wrong.

Regarding comments, please focus on omissions, or thoughts on the articles listed above – we don’t need another blog debating the rights and wrongs …

About The Author

Eric Lonergan is a macro fund manager, economist, and writer. His most recent book is Money (2nd ed) published by Routledge. He is also a supporter of Big Issue Invest (BII), the investment arm of The Big Issue, and is one of the initial limited partners in BII’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund LP. In a personal capacity, he makes direct investments in social enterprises. He also supports and advises The Empathy Museum.

5 Responses

  1. Andrew Watt

    Eric, readers might be interested that I critiqued the Steve Keen piece you highlighted here http://andrewwatt.eu/2016/06/22/progressive-economists-support-remain-not-brexit-response-steve-keen/
    And he responded here http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2016/06/23/the-divisive-vote-over-brexit/
    I agree with much of what you write, however I think that, along with SK and many others (on Left and Right), you are much too quick to assume/believe that “the EU” is undemocratic. Best AW

    • Eric Lonergan

      Thanks Andrew – and a great exchange between you and Steve, which I am glad you highlighted. To be clear, I see both democratic and undemocratic aspects to the EU, and broadly view UK membership as strengthening, not weakening, UK democracy, which actually needs check-and-balances as it has a tendency towards minority rule (confirmed during etc referendum). That said, I think democratic process was hijacked in many parts of the Eurozone during and after the Eurocrisis. SO for me the issue of democratic legitimacy and Europe is very complex …