IS BREXIT EVEN FEASIBLE?
Britain has never been completely comfortable with EU membership but could BRexit really improve matters?
Speaking as a "man in the street", the EU doesn't seem to have done us any favours. I, and many others, bristled at the imposition of laws and regulations that altered day to day lives and seemed to make no real sense. More recently we all note the consequences of open borders - especially in the wake of the Syrian crisis.
The underlying truth is that we really don't like change. Those old enough will remember decimalisation and how prices seemed to double overnight. But could we go back to the old LSD system? Of course not!
And when the EURO was rolled out foreign travellers noted a similar increase in real costs - and that was when GBP was still strong against the Euro.
The sheer weight of EU debate only demonstrates how much detail is involved, how limited almost anyone's understanding seems to be, and why I as a voter have no real concept of the implications.
Some have suggested that a NO vote would enable us to negotiate a better - and more self-governing - deal but the other options don't seem to include that potential.
What is certain is that a NO vote would carry an immense administration overhead. Some have said that exit would take 2 years to complete and that sounds like a reasonable estimate given how imposing the EU has been on British law and practice. How much that would cost and how much longer it would all take is a matter for pure speculation.
What I am pretty sure of is that government and legislative processes are rarely quick or efficient, that international politics is rarely reversible, that most of our objections to the EU are related to "damage" already done and that ANY substantial change is potentially risky but certainly very expensive.
The principles of democracy are wonderful and give us the freedoms and free speech so carelessly abused by our attackers but would any major corporation allow its workers to vote and decide company strategy? Some things are best decided by experts. Publicly elected politicians are not necessarily experts, neither are businessmen but the man in the street is almost certainly ill-equipped to make such a complex decision.
When 'simple' murder cases are argued under regulation for weeks or months by experts on both sides so that an informed public representation can decide "Did he or didn't he?" how are the trusting British public to make an informed choice on something as complex, wide-ranging and speculative as Britain's EU membership?
It's just too overwhelming and too difficult to make anything but a "gut reaction".
My gut says EXIT but my head says STAY - if only because we cannot undo the past and because the case for change needs to be very strong indeed for it to justify the chaos that would ensue.