THERE is an old story that puritanical Scottish preachers used to tell their congregations about sinners cast into the fires of hell. The condemned call out to the Almighty for mercy who replies “Did I not tell you to abandon your lives of drinking, fornicating and sinning?” “Yes, lord” comes the pitiable reply “but we didna ken.”* “Well” comes the implacable reply “Ye ken noo.”

The British vote on the EU is remarkably close despite the parade of experts—the Bank of England, IFS, IMF and OECD, as well as the vast majority of economists—who have pointed to the potential adverse effects. The problem is that many voters simply don’t believe the experts, especially in the wake of the 2008 crisis. And the Conservatives in the Leave campaign, who cheerfully cite such experts when attacking Labour party policies during general elections, now disdain them altogether. Similarly when business leaders pronounce for Remain, their views are dismissed by Tories who normally treat the needs of business as pretty sacrosanct.

Cite those strategists who say that sterling or the markets will fall after a Brexit and...Continue reading