The world would be a much better, saner place if we all had our predictions replayed back to us every now and then. Predictions are a way of expressing our preferences while sounding knowledgeable. For elites, they are a way of standing ahead of others, pre-empting us.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has said there was not "a single doubt" in his mind that the UK would "have agreed and finalised a very ambitious deep and comprehensive trade deal" with the European Union (EU) before the end of next year.That's when a post-Brexit transition period is due to come to an end.""Because there's already an agreement, there's already an agreement in principle. It's there," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.But this is not the case.
While "Get Brexit Done" may be a good campaign slogan, slogans don't make trade agreements.
Ratifying any agreement before the end of next year would take several months, so the negotiations themselves would need to be completed by the summer.
One other thing: as well as negotiating with the EU, the UK would also need to sign up to a series of trade agreements round the world to replace those it has as part of the EU.All of that could take up most of the next decade. It won't be done when the UK leaves the EU - it will only just have begun.
This seems to me to perfectly illustrate Ben's point that "predictions are a way of expressing our preferences while sounding knowledgeable".
The BBC's Chris Morris's surely got this so badly wrong because he wanted to believe it would be painfully hard for the UK to sign up to trade deals around the world, and that is down to his feelings about Brexit.