Dire warnings and visions of heaven for either option are now common fare in conversations and media formats. Warnings and visions are usually vaguely attached to some semi-acceptable assertion, a half-explained mechanism of action, a snippet from some potentially relevant historical setting or an appeal to what some would see as self-interest. Career politicians are having a wonderful time of it.
The key factors in judging the prospects of any institution all relate to the optimum development and use of resources. For this, we need facts and we need mechanisms of action that have predictive value within the range of foreseeable future facts.
The list of resources is very lengthy. It includes: communication, the value of tradeable assets, ideas, education, transport, health, security, regulation, essential infrastructure, trade mechanisms, justice, political system…
Mechanisms are essentially either; accidental self optimisation (Darwinian) or, imposition by central power (Neolithic/genius – depending on your point of view). Both mechanisms have the potential to be disastrously wasteful, both have the potential to be optimum. Neither have ever actually been so.
In or out of the EU, no-one seems able to measure any these resources in a useful way that highlights potential or to explain which mechanism or to which degree a mechanism to realise that potential is the optimum one for any given combination of resources or their foreseeable change.
From this I begin to suspect that either the science of nationhood doesn’t exist at all, or is utterly useless.