Without Brexit, experts are neither right or wrong

By Frank Conway

Since the UK vote last summer to leave the EU, a lot of experts have been busy bashing other experts about the impact Brexit would have on the UK economy.

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Experts will make all the difference in upcoming Brexit negotiations

But all this expert talk of expert opinion being wrong has one major flaw; Brexit hasn’t happened yet.

Just yesterday, I listened to a UK-based fund manager reference the ‘experts getting it so wrong’. His point wasn’t so much the experts but he was clearly influenced by a lot of the narrative in recent months that has taken to bashing the experts.

Certainly in some cases, the experts have gotten things wrong. The US election was one. But that was as much a failure of self-referencing criteria by those who sought a much different outcome and chose to ignore some fairly obvious warning signs.

The actual Brexit decision was another. The so-called experts got it wrong in a major way.

But when it comes to the actual economic impact of the UK exiting the common market entirely, since it has not actually taken place yet, there is nothing to analyse. To say that Brexit has had little impact on the UK economy, the question is how could it have one.

For a start, the UK is still a fully fledged member of the European Union. UK companies trade across the EU every single day without the cost of trade barriers or tariffs. And this will continue until such point as the UK leaves.

And while the UK has yet to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, all eyes will be on the negotiations and conditions of exit of the UK from the EU. Then, markets should get a fairly good idea of what might be in store for trade barriers and tariffs in the future.

In the meantime, the only experts that will really matter are those on either side of the negotiation table…where experts will probably make all the difference.

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