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Therese Raphael

Score One for the Experts as Brexit Costs Grow

The vote to leave the EU is taking an economic toll on Britons, before the separation even begins.
The long, expensive good-bye to Europe.

The long, expensive good-bye to Europe.

Photographer: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

In the run-up to the U.K.'s 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union, and immediately after it, the "remain" campaign was much derided for fear-mongering. People are sick and tired of experts warning about doomsday scenarios, said Conservative politician and lead-Brexiter Michael Gove. Those warning that Brexit would cost the economy were dubbed "remoaners"; Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was compared to Eeyore for his caution.

It was, granted, a disastrous campaign strategy: Focusing on the economic costs of Brexit ignored the very real economic pain that many Britons already felt. It overlooked the fact that many Britons were motivated by distrust of the European Union, or blamed immigrants for their own economic uncertainty. They were willing to accept some cost to be rid of that perceived burden.