The notion of Britain opting out of the EU is still not being taken seriously by the majority. Nevertheless, it has seeped into every aspect of political discourse and will determine the UK’s dynamics for years to come.
Britain’s view of the European Union as merely a market may eventually force it to break away. One must wonder, however, not only how it could survive alone, but whether it can prevent its own internal break-up.
Once the world’s biggest manufacturer, the UK now lives and dies by financial services. So any EU pact that would risk London’s status of world financial hub will be met with huge resistance. Meanwhile, Britain is opening up to non-EU investors.
The last time Britain experienced such structural changes, it saw the demise of manufacturing and unions, the birth of punk, and the arrival of Thatcher. What can be expected now that Cameron has begun to trim the government fat?