Planning for a disaster is already damaging the pre-Brexit economy
A fiasco will be survivable but even if it never materialises, the prospect is causing damage, writes Tim Harford
I had a couple of conversations with bright teenagers. One wanted to discuss philosophy — Gödel, Turing and Wittgenstein. Not a problem. The other asked me to explain Brexit. Not a chance. The saga is madder than a box of hallucinating frogs. Most likely, Britain will push its way pig-headedly through the brambles of the Brexit negotiations. The country will emerge bruised but intact, declaring that the ordeal was a brilliant shortcut, then fumbling for a map and compass. But while that is the most plausible result, the risk of a total train wreck remains. Worryingly, it seems undiminished more than two years after the referendum. A recent report by the academics at The UK in a Changing Europe think-tank explores the likely impact of a failure to negotiate an agreement under the withdrawal process. This is not the only way in which agreement could fail to be reached, but it is the starkest. In a truly acrimonious failure to reach a deal, British food would not pass EU import control...