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Also, you say the EPP will gradually lose its grip, but what if the Brexit example will embolden the fascists and lead to election victories from Le Pen to Jobbik, and could quickly reduce the EU to less than the original six.
Meanwhile, what strikes me most about this Brexit campaign "debate" is that the average citizens supporting Leave show even stronger cognitive dissonance than British Europhobes usually do. Apparently the top concerns are immigration and the NHS, whereas Brexit would not stop immigration (in fact, the politicians who would benefit from a Leave vote would increase non-EU immigration!) and give a free hand to the Tories ad UKIP to wreck the NHS. Add to that that Northerners blame the EU for the decline of their regions, which is actually due to the undue economic weight of the City (Jérôme's "English Disease") and Tory and Bliarite policies.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
Regarding the EPP, you are merely saying it's decline will be much more rapid and dramatic than I suggest. That may be the case, but it will take more than Brexit to achieve that outcome.
UK citizens have been successfully brainwashed by their elite to the effect that the EU is the cause of all their travails, be it NHS waiting lists, immigration, wage stagnation, housing shortfalls, you name it.
As Trump is demonstrating, you don't need a shred of evidence to sustain those claims, merely endless repetition in popular media.
However the renegade sections of the elite promoting Brexit are going to cause the elite to come in for a road shock: They won't be able to blame to EU for everything quite so convincingly - although they will still try - "foreigners taxing superior British exports" etc.
That is why I predict a primary outcome will be the destabilisation of the UK itself - although that may be a slow process.
Most of the consequences of Brexit will be a slow burn - in the next couple of years all we may seen is a further stagnation of the UK and EU economies...
Index of Frank's Diaries
There is the idea that this will finally deliver the shock that EU leaders need to get back on track and fulfill the dreams of the United States of Europe. That is delusional. It will not be a tonic but a serious blow that will politically 'prove' that the EU has overstretched itself. There is no real narrative left to drive such a project forward.
The Exiters have a positive narrative about taking back control. The Remainers sometimes look like the people who wanted to prevent Jeremy Corbyn and people are very much tired of being told what to do.
Schäuble said in a recent interview that even if the UK votes to remain with a slim majority it wouldn't be cause for pushing for deeper integration - because then the political class would have to stop and think about how things could have come so far. But another cabinet member (von der Leyen) said something like "if the goal is not the United States of Europe then the EU doesnt make sense". IMO the EU does make a lot of sense without grandiose dreams. An ever closer union would only be possible with a small core constituency but that's impossible now with 28 (27) members. Where's the realism? Instead, we keep on hearing people whine about how this was not what they dreamt of, how they want more than just a free trade zone, how they want a united Europe with universal European values as a positive world power. Forget it! The current crises have shown that values that were once deemed universal arent so universal. They were not even accepted or known to some people. It's almost a category error to envision the USoE as manifest destiny.
Another side to this rant: You can partially blaim Merkel for this mess, not just for making a hash out of the Euro crisis but also for unilaterally blowing up Dublin/Schengen. That really consolidated an anti-EU atmosphere. Last year I predicted her actions would make a Brexit more probable. Unfortunately, I was right. The EU will limp on, fray at the edges. Same old m.o. in Merkel's 'deflate the earthquakes' world.
Schengen is toast!
The real tragedy is the realisation that many British voters are simply gullible fools, with the political sophistication of medieval peasants.
On the up side, the fall out from the referendum will - sooner or later, one way or another - do huge political damage to the Tory party.
Ireland appears indeed quite a good place to pursue one's career these days.
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