Leave won because too many British voters identified the EU with authoritarianism, irrationality and contempt for parliamentary democracy while too few believed those of us who claimed that another EU was possible.
The repercussions of the vote will be dire, albeit not the ones Cameron and Brussels had warned of. The markets will soon settle down… However, despite the relative tranquillity that will follow on from the current shock, insidious forces will be activated under the surface with a terrible capacity for inflicting damage on Europe and on Britain.
Italy, Finland, Spain, France, and certainly Greece, are unsustainable under the present arrangements. The a]rchitecture of the euro is a guarantee of stagnation and is deepening the debt-deflationary spiral that strengthens the xenophobic right. Populists in Italy and Finland, possibly in France, will demand referendums or other ways to disengage.
I refuse to be downcast, even though I count myself on the losing side of the referendum.
As of today, British and European democrats must seize on this vote to confront the establishment in London and Brussels more powerfully than before. The EU’s disintegration is now running at full speed. Building bridges across Europe, bringing democrats together across borders and political parties, is what Europe needs more than ever to avoid a slide into a xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss. [excerpts]