It’s not the economy, stupid. That is what all eurosceptics, euro-realists and, indeed, people who just think we can reform the EU (or any other tranzi organization, for that matter) must learn.
We can come up with the best economic arguments and get absolutely nowhere in the face of entrenched ideological certainty. Until we can come up with arguments to deal with that we are not going to win. But it has become fairly obvious that the other side is losing.
I wrote a piece for TechCentral Station on the EU losing the propaganda war, which points out:
“The problem is not the way the EU is communicating but what it is communicating. The idea of European integration was never that popular in strictly democratic terms but could, at one point, inspire people. It was the bright future that would shake off and overcome the horrors of the past. Its proponents managed to convince themselves that it was European integration that preserved peace in Western Europe. Sometimes, in a mood of exultation, they even affirmed that it preserved the peace in the whole of Europe, maybe the world. None of it was true and the bloody collapse of Yugoslavia, with the EU's sordid part in it, proved that beyond any doubt.”
If you really want to, read the whole piece here.