The closest any of my Remain opponents in debate have come to saying anything nice or positive about the EU is their occasional claim that the EU is about peace in Europe.
I agree with that aim, but fail to see how the EU has created or helped it. Peace came about following a bruising world war, when a newly democratic Germany and democratic France emerged from the violence and decided to co-operate with each other, under the security umbrella provided by a US led NATO. The leading western democracies have no wish to invade each other again or to annex the smaller countries, whether the UK is in the EU or out of it.
My fear is that as the EU seeks to develop its military arm and to assert itself in foreign policy, it will become a force for instability as we have seen in the Balkans and the Ukraine. I do not wish the UK to be dragged into far away conflicts by an EU that has more ambition than strength or commonsense to follow it through. There is no need for a rival to NATO.
For the rest of it, the Remain case is an increasingly absurd barrage of extremely pessimistic forecasts. Most of them are based on the idea that we are in a Union with a group of very unpleasant states who will wish to damage us so much that they will happily bring their own economies down in the process should we dare to leave.
Listening to the German Finance Minister in the bits of his recent intervention that did not get reported much he made clear that if the UK despite his warnings and advice does leave he will want to sit down and sort out how to continue Germany’s very profitable trade with us. The day after we vote to leave the rest of the EU’s rhetoric will change from mild threats and insincere protestations of love for us if we stay, to a strong wish to save as much as possible of the strong links and collaboration there is across the Channel.
Remain have fallen in the polls the more they have relied on bullying to get people to vote for them. They have fallen in the polls as their tv spokespeople have turned to personal abuse and false allegations, instead of helping Leave inform the public of how the EU works and what the future might be like under either scenario.
I have not spent my time painting lurid portraits of what Remain might be like if we had a more serious re-run of the 2011 Euro crisis or if the European banks get into worse trouble, for two reasons. One, I do not want it to happen as it would be damaging to so many people. Two, I think it more likely the Euro area will muddle through with slow growth and a gradual move to the richer countries sending more money to the poorer countries and accepting more debt write offs as they need to do.
Nor have I spent my time in full flow thinking through some of the worst scenarios we could get into as the EU tries to flex its limited military muscle. Again I do not wish to see that happen, and it is not the base case.
Meanwhile, all Remain does is invent ever more absurd ideas with huge figures plucked out of thin air. What a pity they have no positive vision of life in the EU for the UK. They spend most of their time denying how much it already does. They refuse to discuss the next moves to a Euro Treasury and political Union. They only seem proud of the fact that we are neither in the Euro nor in Schengen, two of the central pillars of the modern EU. Often these are the same people who used to tell us we did have to join the Euro.
If even Remain does not want to join in major parts of the EU, why hang around arguing with the other members who want to get on with their fuller Union?