Many years ago I read J H H Weiler's work on the constitution of the European Union, and I concluded that you could not simultaneously have all three of democracy, national sovereignty, and deep economic integration; this trade-off is sometimes known as "Rodrik's Trilemma" after the Turkish economist who popularised the same idea, in relation to finance markets.

Apparently unconcerned by distributional effects, most people cannot be persuaded to forgo the benefits of transnational economic integration, and similarly place their feelings of belonging and tradition before self-government and democratic norms. I'm forced to conclude that theonly solution is the adoption, bypassing democracy, of a uniform set of economic rules across a broad swathe of the developed world. In effect, this is what we have been acquiescing in for several decades, as treaty after treaty irons out the differences between national laws.

As the technological complexity of society has increased, democratic legislatures and executive agencies have completely abdicated any role they might play enforcing the public interest; the quality of regulation in areas such as copyright and surveillance is so poor as to be beneath one's dignity to take intellectually seriously. Supranational anti-trust regulators have proven to be the only actors capable of reining in transnational corporations like Microsoft. A post-democratic world (as Jon Worth believes us already to inhabit) would allow much more scope for this proven success of regulation in the public interest.

This of course is not going to be a remotely equal or fair world, but it is one which appears to attract the acquiescence of the governed, without which there can be no lasting order or peace.

Accordingly, I shall no longer be supporting the campaign for British withdrawal from the European Union, and abstain, as I have at recent elections.