David Steven Jacoby

Global Consequences of Brexit for Generations to Come

Decisiveness is usually a good thing in matters of economic policy. Markets depend on stability, and growth depends on markets, ergo growth depends on stability. Central bankers send signals long in advance of changes in interest rates to give markets and businesses time to prepare and adjust. In some countries businesses practically come to a standstill before important elections, rather than risk making suboptimal decisions. The worst thing is mixed signals.

However, some waffling may be excused, and even encouraged, when an irreversibly wrong decision is about to be made. The consequences of Brexit will be felt for generations to come, both inside and outside the U.K.

As Britain begins its exit negotiations from the EU, many tactical decisions will need to be made, such as slow versus fast, soft versus hard, and consultative versus imperial (executive-led).

EU countries, spurned by Britain, would prefer a quick, decisive exit, whether inclusive or not. “Let’s end this nightmare and move on.”

However, British citizens should take every opportunity to review, reconsider, and even recant their decision to the extent that is politically possible. In the case of a Big Wrong Decision, a slow, soft, and consultative approach can minimize the damage and leave some room for potential reconciliation.

Important negotiating points should be voted on, and as the negotiated cost and benefits become clear, the actual costs and benefits should be compared to the assumed costs and benefits that were the basis of the vote to exit the Union. If there is a significant difference between the reality and the picture they had in their minds at that time, procedural mechanisms should be manipulated to minimize losses and possibly even to squirm out of the Brexit cage entirely.

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