View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Brexit
21 June 2016updated 09 Sep 2021 11:37am

If anyone wants to be PM after Brexit, they’re insane

Voters already prefer blaming politicians to consulting experts. That isn't going to change.

By George Kendall

Leave campaigner Michael Gove has ruled out running for Tory leader. He is wise.

If we vote for Brexit, and a Leave campaigner becomes Prime Minister, their every word of reassurance will be repeated back to them a thousand-fold.

As the country lurches into recession, economists will point out that 90 per cent of them had predicted this. Voters will ask the new Prime Minister: “Why did you say Project Fear was a lie?”

When companies start to relocate their businesses to Europe, the newly-unemployed will cry out: “But you said this would never happen.”

Pointing to the fine print of the handful of pro-Brexit economists, where they acknowledge there would be a cost, will be no use. Economists for Brexit co-chair Patrick Minford has admitted that it would “mostly eliminate manufacturing”. But how many voting on Thursday will know that? 

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Of course, David Cameron has said he will remain as Prime Minister if the country votes for Brexit. He’d be mad to do so.

As calamity piles on calamity, the Leave campaign will shift the blame: “Your Project Fear talked us into this recession, those spiteful Europeans are punishing us for wanting to be free.”  Or: “It’s the immigrants’ fault.”

There might be buyers’ remorse, but don’t bet on it. People are angry. And they’ve stopped listening to the experts.

According to Paul Johnson, director of respected thinktank Institute for Fiscal Studies: “Many economists I’ve met in recent weeks have confided that they are quite literally losing sleep over this. There is a palpable fear that something really quite grim for the British economy could follow a Brexit.”

But the public aren’t listening to them. Gove may be correct to say, “People in this country have had enough of experts”, but just wait for the ugly aftermath. There will always be someone else to blame. 

If we enter Brexit Britain, and the Leave campaigners allow Cameron to stay as Prime Minister, the question becomes: Would Cameron be foolish enough?

Why would he want to be Prime Minister? Would anyone?

George Kendall is chair of the Liberal Democrats’ Social Democrat Group.

Content from our partners
Individually rare, collectively common – how do we transform the lives of people with rare diseases?
Future proofing the NHS
Where do we get the money to fix the world's biggest problems? – with ONE

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU