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The upcoming referendum on the United Kingdom's continued membership in the European Union, almost certain to be held this year, could turn out to be yet another major catastrophe to hit Europe. If, as seems increasingly plausible, British voters chose to leave, the result would be a profoundly destabilized EU – and a shattered U.K.The problem is that, with the EU seemingly mired in perpetual crisis, the case for "Brexit" carries significant intellectual and emotional allure. Even before the eurozone's debt problems emerged in 2009-2010, it seemed clear to many people in Britain that, in order to be resilient to shocks, a currency union requires greater integration, in particular, some form of fiscal union. That is one arrangement that the U.K. has never been willing to abide.If British voters agree that the EU's structure is so flawed that they do not want to be part of it, they are implicitly condemning the peculiar union that is the U.K., which includes a fiscal union, but a problematic one.Indeed, like the EU, the U.K. suffers from a lack of a unifying identity or story.
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