International Economics and Economic Policy

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 539–548

Cameron’s information disaster in the referendum of 2016: an exit from Brexit?


DOI: 10.1007/s10368-016-0361-3

Cite this article as:
Welfens, P.J.J. Int Econ Econ Policy (2016) 13: 539. doi:10.1007/s10368-016-0361-3


The BREXIT referendum of June 23, 2016, represents a rather surprising decision by the UK electorate and it is a historical result with implications for the UK, Europe and the world economy. It can be shown that a major information blunder by the Cameron government forms part of the explanation of the referendum result: The 16 page info brochure that government sent out to households did not contain a single key finding of the Treasury study on the economic effects of EU membership on the UK and the cost of BREXIT, respectively. While prior to the Scottish referendum of 2014 the Cameron government conveyed key economic insights to households, before the BREXIT vote the government did not give the Treasury’s finding that a 10 % output loss was to be expected as a long run BREXIT effect – had households obtained this information, the referendum would have been 52 % in favor of Remain. Thus there is a new, very convincing argument for a second referendum. Also, US perspectives are emphasized.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Institute for International Economic RelationsUniversity of Wuppertal (EIIW)WuppertalGermany
  2. 2.Schumpeter School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  3. 3.AICGS/Johns Hopkins UniversityWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations