1 january 2016, the year of leaving

When the question has been put to more pro-european populations in easier times, the french, dutch and irish amongst them, the answer has been "no". So why does anyone expect something different from the far more half-hearted brits ? Don't look at the "outs" split and disorderly campaign, look at the message, clear and bright. That's why the uk is set to leave, the biggest backwards step for the eu since its foundation in 1957. Rages against the establishment, driven by those on the wrong end of globalisation, inequalities and empowerment, continue to sweep across the western world, the snp destroying labour in scotland, the national front coming first in french elections and donald trump raging to contendership for the american presidency. Underpinned by a generation drip-fed predjudice against the eu "other" doing down "our" country, the risk of such a surge carrying the outs to victory in britain's binary referendum is high. Their clarion call is simple and alluring: good riddance to the lot of them ! Europe costs the country a fortune (a billion pounds a day !), burdens industry with costly regulation (especially on the golden goose of the city of london !), dampens our democracy (brussels makes all our laws !) and, worst of all, forces us to leave our front door open to shady migrants that take jobs, force down wages and suck up school and hospital places. With millions more arriving every day and the euro economy constantly collapsing, why should great britain be weighed down by all that ? Better to cut loose and nimbly sail the world alone again; good fences make good neighbours. Its a fabulous populist bandwagon to jump on, towards which luminaries in all parties (yes that's you boris) may be tempted. With most conservatives against, there is an especial risk that the new labour leadership, anyway lukewarm, makes a tactical decision to see cameron lose and so throw the government into total turmoil from which could be seen the possibility of a new order. The election of a conservative majority government means that mass anti-establishment anger has yet to find a lighting rod in the uk. The referendum looks a very strong candidate.