So interested in Brexit

That Brexit bill might be more than £39 billion (but it also might be less)

The problem is, economies are unpredictable. Which means big bills like this are too.

In the latest you-won't-know-til-you-know reveal from the Brexit negotiations, it turns out the Brexit divorce bill UK and EU politicians spent ages negotiating over may still change in amount over the next two years – for reasons that neither the UK nor the EU can really control.

What it means: Basically, although there are lots of sophisticated ways for economists to estimate how things are going to go in the next few days / months / years, you can't predict with 100% certainty what's going to happen in any economy, because, well, that would be like fortune-telling and you just can't do it.

Unfortunately, that applies to the value of the Brexit bill as much as anything else. A watchdog called the National Audit Office has pointed out today that all sorts of factors could still change the final amount. For one, if the value of the pound (or the euro) changes dramatically over the next year, that could shift the total. Secondly, part of the bill is made up of money the UK will owe the EU for their annual budget in 2019/20 – but the amount each country owes is based on how strong its economy is, so depending on how Britain's doing next year, that could shift too.

Slightly creepily, another factor is the life expectancy of EU officials. The biggest portion of what the UK owes the EU is pensions for them, so obviously the cost of that depends on how long they live. Economics just got a little too personal.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?