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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

In praise of “Project Fear”

Brexit poses real dangers to the UK’s economic stability

Boris Johnson describes it as “Project Fear,” but there is another name for the strongest argument for Britain to stay in the European Union. A parent telling a child not to play with matches or a friend who prevents a drunken companion from getting into the driver’s seat calls this common sense. Politicians who describe the economic risks of Brexit are castigated for trying to “frighten the voters” and advised by media commentators to present a positive, idealistic story.

But when we try to stop a drunk from driving or a child setting fire to the curtains, we do not appeal to their idealism or remind them of the joys of life. We warn of the terrible consequences that could result from reckless actions and in doing this, our burden of proof is very low. We don’t need to prove that the house will burn down or an innocent pedestrian will be run over. It is enough to say that drunk driving makes a calamity more likely and is therefore banned.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s April issue: Sam Tanenhaus profiles Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican Party Presidential nomination and asks if Trump makes it to the Oval Office, what would he do? Stephen Glover, examines what is happening at the Guardian as the newspaper looks to cut costs. Ferdinand Mount says Tony Blair transformed Britain but he should have cared more about the Labour Party. Also in this issue: Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI5, says that Brexit would not damage the UK’s security and Christopher de Bellaigue questions whether France’s clampdown on radicals is having the right effect. Plus Miranda France looks at the legacy of Don Quixote and the Duel asks: “Should the Church of England be disestablished”?