Most of the above was broadly evident at the time of the referendum and we all heard Project Fear just as loudly as Boris's £350 mill. So I discount all comments about people in the referendum not voting to make themselves poorer, partly because the risks were writ large (they were the main reason for me turning chicken and voting Remain) but also because many people voted on non-economic factors. Wolfgang Munchau put this succinctly in his Eurointelligence blog when he said "Economics is a useless tool when it comes to discussions about distant future states of the world, which is why we are ignoring the hysterical warnings by the Bank of England and the Treasury on the impact of various Brexit scenarios. The only point we would make is political: a fear-based campaign did not work last time, and we don’t think that the current hysteria will fare much better."
It is not clear if a debate will be allowed before the clock runs down as that seems to suit both May and Corbyn. But if it were to be one option that could yet emerge as the most supported in the Commons, though without an overall majority (no option has that!) is the so-called Norway plus option, supported by Lord Owen*, Tory Nick Boles and probably quite a few on the Labour benches. This option is the just about the closest you can get to staying in while leaving so I have always been suspicious of it. But the Bank of England has told us why it's a bad idea: it would be "a threat to financial stability" (wow!) Sir John Cunliffe, a deputy governor at the Bank, told the Treasury Committee "Our financial sector is about 20 times bigger than Norway's. It is much more connected internationally and more complex..." Mark Carney added that "the risk of being a rule-taker goes up with time" and "from a financial perspective it is highly undesirable to be a rule-taker and to lose supervisory autonomy for any considerable length of time". David Smith** notes that the Norway option could be modified to allow significant UK input on the rules affecting financial services and that it would have to be to come close to satisfying the Bank.
One can criticise the government for not starting off our Brexit process by having a kind of Royal Commission to analyse the alternatives and flush out these issues while there was time to do something about them. But I suspect this would have been pie in the sky - the whole Brexit issue had got too heated for anyone in politics to attempt to debate it dispassionately.
Smith notes that the Bank is often accused of being "Remainer Central" but if that were the case it would presumably support Norway plus as an option. He has also commented on no deal saying that, if you take the Mad Hatter, a box of frogs and the pop group Madness, no deal is madder than all of them put together. Wish I'd thought of that one!
As I always suspected, there's no perfect answer here, no matter what folk might claim. May's deal that isn't yet a deal still looks the least worst to me.
*Lord Owen says its EEAsy PEEAsy, my post of 13 August. Owen actually advocates staying in the EEA as a step towards future arrangements, not a destiny in itself, which is why he says we must assert our legal right to stay in the EEA as its members would not accept us joining temporarily.
**David Smith's column Be braced for more chaos, but give thanks to the Bank was in the Sunday Times on 9 December.