The more I see, the more I'm convinced that Orwell had a crystal-ball when he wrote Animal Farm.
Perhaps that's why it was predominantly "the oldies" who voted Exit. We'd seen the aftermath of 2 World Wars, saw the rebuilding, The present generation have little inkling of the endeavours made to stand the country on it's feet again and do not appreciate the ramifications of the creeping Federalisation and subsuming of individual countries. We all listened to pop songs in the 60's about a "great big melting-pot" and , though the social results have been good in some quarters, in others we have "no go" areas, drug-wars, subjugation of women, Caste-conflicts....... What chance a united Europe , with our different customs, cultures and traditions? I think the West voted pretty comprehensively on that one in 1939-1945.
(and the Dutch still ,apparently bear a grudge, though, of course, there are virtually no Germans (or Japanese) alive still, who had anything to do with it all) It's been a very costly experiment, the sheer waste, starting with the annual trek between two very expensive HQ's one of which sits idle for most of the year..
Maybe the British exit will lead to the other principal members questioning just why a large number of poor economies were allowed in. The fundamental, founding reason was an Economic alliance . It got lost. This is now little more tan collective bribery to keep the poor economies' politicians "on -side" and it's a very heavy price to pay. I'd love to go back to an EEC, Spain , Greece and Italy among others welcomed British holiday- makers with open arms . Their spending transformed the economies (as well as the landscape with hideous hotel-blocks) they weren't members then!
Let the wheels fall off or weld themselves more securely. It seems Merkel's mob learned little from the collapse of Communism and the cost of re-absorbing the East German population. Then she opens the door to any villain claiming to be a refugee, which ,theoretically, gives them a free roaming ticket to wander across any where in the EC, that they choose. Why did the other 26 countries accept that?... too late, she realised that there are fundamental cultural chasms between the indigenous population and many of the "refugees".We had little say in that, but we are still struggling with various criminal groups of different ethnicities who have the legal right to come to London for the summer pickpocketing season, for example, before vanishing back "home". @Flyin'Dutch'
I think you'll find that we had among the highest water standards in the West and the clean air acts when the smogs of my childhood became intolerable....both pre-dated any sort of post-war economic "club".