Jim Baldwin: Project Fear is superstition, not science

Project Fear has reached a crescendo — well, another crescendo.

Remain economists are once again predicting dire consequences if we leave the EU. No matter what policy choices the UK makes after Brexit, these ‘experts’ tell us the ‘reality’ of sitting outside the European Union is guaranteed to make us poorer. And how do they know this? Because the models they made told them, of course.

Persuasive, huh?

The economist Andrew Sentance recently took to twitter with a graph showing GDP per capita since 1972 for the UK and other major economies, and tried to claim this as proof of the benign influence of the EU on UK growth.

The graph was spread far and wide.

But there is a glaring issue.

No scientist, and I speak from a degree of experience, would ever make such statements without conducting an experiment using a control. That is: another UK that had not entered the EU with which the data could be compared.

The lack of a control makes Project Fear’s claims immediately rubbishable. There is no indisputable experiment they can run to prove their assertions. They are dealing in the subjective, not the objective, limited by their own models and assumptions.

It’s therefore probably wise, especially in the light of Remainer economists’ recent record, not to flatter their latest prophecies of doom with too much credence.

Remember: outside the EU, it would be us – the British people – who dictate the rate of innovation. It would be us who shape the policies and the social structures that expedite wealth generation – not the high priests of Project Fear.

I note that Andrew Sentance’s graph shows Japan’s GDP per capita to have risen the fastest. And is Japan in the European Union? Not the last time I checked.

Jim Baldwin holds masters degrees in Immunology and Neuroscience and works in drug discovery. Follow him on twitter: @J_E_Baldwin