I have always been certain that my country would vote to stay in the EU even as I become more and more persuaded that, on balance, we should leave. But now, suddenly, hope has crept by inches into my heart.
I decided after much thought that I would vote Out had I a vote. But I have been abroad too long. Why? Because the EU will always be undemocratic. Because you cannot have a democracy without a demos.
Our economic future might eventually be better outside the EU, but no-one knows and people who say they know are deluded or deluding. What matters is that I do not see any reason why laws should be made by unelected foreigners that we in the United Kingdom have to obey.
There's no right or wrong decision on Brexit - it depends on your values. Do we prefer to be free or want kind masters? I think the English will prefer kind masters. They will vote to stay in, for fear that there would be fewer laws if we leave. But maybe I'm wrong.
One thing that has helped me make up by mind about Brexit is that I find I tend to like the way Brexiters think about things in general, like their sense of humour - and find the
In camp - whatever party they vote for - tend to have ideas I find uncongenial. If H.M. the Queen, supposedly, the Duke of Edinburgh more certainly, Rod Liddle, Nigel Lawson, Ed West, Charles Moore and Douglas Murray are for Brexit and John Major, the Economist and the US State Department are against that's almost good enough for me. Throw in the ghosts of Peter Shore, Anthony Burgess, Enoch Powell...
There are plenty of good arguments on both sides. The strongest for staying in are the impact on the City of London as financial capital of Europe and the effect on Scotland, which might in the medium term be more likely to secede from the UK. That won't happen soon because they cannot have another referendum for twenty years and anyway with oil cheap independence would be suicidal.
The City is a worry, but Mervyn King thinks Brexit will make little difference. Scotland is the strongest argument for In. But I am hopeful they would not leave us to join the Eurozone, which is what the EU requires new members to do.
The best argument for leaving is that we shall regret it if we don’t. Forever.
I've noticed from my British Facebook friends that Inners and Outers behave very differently. The Outers know the odds are stacked against them but argue their points with gusto. The Inners seem to be in actual physical pain at the fairly small chance that we might leave. They are at best horrified, at worst embittered and full of malice, always completely humourless. Why?
If Brexit wins - which is still a very unlikely contingency - the Remainians will probably renegotiate with Ma Merkel and have a second referendum. But looking at the issue of EU membership in hindsight it is clear that it was, as Gaitskell said all those years ago, the end of a thousand years of history. And the end too of national sovereignty and representative government.