Apologies I haven't posted much recently, but the sad truth is, in a moment of madness I threw caution to the wind and came out the other side with a fractured collarbone. Typing... hurts. Except on my phone, which is why I'm spending a long, frustrating time following that route to post this.
The alternative? Shouting at the TV. I'll be doing some of that too.
You see, the thing is, Brexiteers keep popping up on my screen. Now that they have condemned the UK to a horrible recession, they have to say that "everything is fine" and "nothing could possibly go wrong".
Good for them. But one of their main arguments has got such a HUGE hole in it, that I can't understand why interviewers fail to point it out... Maybe to do so would make them appear "unpatriotic"? To be "talking down" the economy?
Anyway, not being British, that's not a charge that can be levelled at me, so here it is.FIFTH BIGGEST ECONOMY
Here's what the Brexiteers say:
"The UK, by itself, is the fifth biggest economy in the world. This means, when we negotiate with the rest of the EU (rEU), they will have to give us what we want."
Sound familiar? It cropped up a lot before the vote and is showing up constantly now. For the sake of the UK, I hope this claim is nonsense, because if it's not, then the following is also true...
"The EU is the largest economy in the world. Not the fifth largest. Not the sixth. The largest
. Its nominal GDP is about 14.6 trillion euros. Without the UK, it would be about 12.1 trillion euros. This makes it approximately five times larger than the economy of the UK -- *if* you're counting in Scotland as part of the UK, of course. That means (by the logic above), in negotiations, the UK, will have to give five times more to the EU than vice versa."
So, our first bit of maths for the day is:1st > 5th
Pretty mind-blowing, isn't it? I'm amazed nobody has thought of that. I mean, if any of the Tories had worked it out, they'd have run away from having to deal with it. Am I right, Boris? David?
But wait! It gets worse!
The pound has dropped drastically against the euro. Because of this, the UK is now only the 6th biggest economy. France is the new number 5. Hurray for France! The EU doesn't even need to negotiate. Why not just send France? After all, if it's the 5th biggest economy in the world by itself, then, by the logic above, the UK will have to give it what it wants.
This brings us to our next formula:5th > 6th
And if Scotland votes for independence, why, Italy might then be a larger economy than the rUK. Why not just send Italy? Because...6th > 7th
Wow! Who knew maths could be so simple?THE 8%
Another version of the "fifth biggest economy" argument is the "8%" argument. This is where the Brexiteers say that Angela Merkel will go easy on the UK because, by itself (if we include Scotland), the UK represents 8% of German exports, and "they wouldn't want to risk that!"
The same counter-argument applies. If Germany can't bear to lose 8%, how on earth -- and I'm banging my head on the table as I write this (ouch!) -- can the UK afford to lose the 45% of their exports that go to the rEU?
I mean, seriously, doesn't anybodgy know that 45 is somewhat bigger than 8? Or, as we Math speakers say:45 > 8
Of course, Germany, with a population of around 80 million, has more than a few mathematicians of its own. It will have worked out by now, that going too easy on the UK might protect that 8% of trade, but that the possible resulting breakup of the EU will put another 50% of its economy at risk and send, not just the UK, but the whole continent into recession.
After all, as maths would have it:50 > 8NO BLAME
I can't blame the Brexiteers for doing something so momumentally stupid. After all, I'm the one sitting here with my arm in a sling while autocorrect plays havoc with a blog post written for no other reason than rage and frustration.
We've both taken a bit of a tumble recently, but I hope to have recovered from mine in six weeks or so, while they have a future to look forward to that includes a starring role in something like the Chilcot Enquiry. Worse, they'll spend years driving over pot-holed roads, through the poverty-stricken neighbourhoods of their own proud creation, while screaming at anybody using simple maths to "talk down" the economy.
Good luck with that. Actually, no, bad cess to you instead, because you've probably dragged us into recession too.