Brill article. However, this statement is a central premise of why I think we will struggle to get rigour. The U.K. population struggles with rigour in general. This includes members of the Remain voters of which I am a part.
The central theme for me during the entire campaign was that if you presented a leave voter with rational argument, whether that be the analysis conducted by others on what leaving would mean; analysis on the statements made by their reps which was wholly false (magic beans of £350 million a week?) or used information and analysis which existed prior to any mention of Brexit, including before Cameron’s manifesto pledge, they didn’t understand it. Logic, reason and analytical skill did not exist in the main for those wishing Leave voters, unless they were tasked with manipulating the electorate.
The campaign to drown out rational voice worked well in part due to the electorate on the whole, having low analytical skill relative to other countries in Europe and the rest of the world. Indeed, by age 16, the point at which many people leave education, we have pretty much the lowest in the developed world.
We have some smart folk here in the UK, but the volume of those with next to zero ability to independently research and analyse their own information is extremely high, countering the rational voice. Note, this exists on both sides of the divide. So the chance of finding anyone who can’t do the maths on both sides is closer to equal. However, the impact of leaving, which is the important aspect (often called the “sensitivity” to such a risk), is significantly higher after a Leave decision than Remain and always was. There is also the unclear position that Leaving also removes our ability to have another vote, whilst remaining always allowed us the chance in the future to have another referendum on the matter. So, to present an argument paraphrased from Rosie Campbell, even by simple Game theory, assuming at the time that both sides equally told lies or didn’t know, the high disparity between the sensitivity to that decision should have led to people choosing to Remain.
It would be akin to having an explosive plunger that is maybe tied to your house, or maybe not. You have the chance to play the game to save your house. For decorative completeness, a large comedy cheque of £350 million is placed on your house, which if you blow up the house, also goes, and then some. The only truthful choice is choosing to continue to live in your house, by not pressing the plunger, which may or may not be attached to some explosives under your house, or risk becoming homeless by pressing it. The cheque could be a lie for all you know. Do you press the plunger?
Even if we didn’t know the facts, nor what would happen, which I dispute anyway (they were all there). The reality is that nobody in their right mind should choose to press the plunger. Nowhere in that statement is there a guaranteed upside, since aside from the choice you have to make, everything in that scenario is a potential lie. There is no council house or emergency housing. That for the record will take a hit akin to the local authority funding cuts we saw during the financial crisis, though not necessarily as big. We may see the effects of that in the next 2 year budget cycles anyway. Hence, even those who voted Remain ignorant of the facts happened to vote correctly.
If you’re interested in some more facts, I covered these a couple of weeks ago. There were tonnes available.