On Brexit, Leavers bear the burden of proof

Source: Cato Unbound
by Dalibor Rohac

“Common prudence normally cautions against policy changes with uncertain outcomes – unless there are compelling reasons to believe that the potential upsides of proposed change strongly outweigh the downsides. My contention is that Leavers have not provided such reasons. It is not enough to suggest that Brexit will lead to good economic outcomes, if accompanied by ‘liberal domestic regulatory, tariff, and trade policy reform.’ Neither is it enough to express the hope that British parliamentary democracy provides a reliable self-correcting mechanism to public policy — at least not without accounting for the political drivers of Britain’s relative economic decline between the 1930s and the 1970s. In order to make the case for Leave convincing, one would need to identify the specific policy areas in which burdensome European rules stifle economic activity and also to show what political dynamics would lead to desirable change after Brexit.” (09/29/17)