I'll answer. But only if you promise not to read me any of your poetry... Save that for the random downvoter.
I've done quite a bit of reading around this. Anyone who tells you they know the economic outcome of us leaving is a fool or total liar. The idea that we'll instantly lose 3 million jobs, or 1.5% of GDP a year is ludicrous. On the other hand, some of the better off outers figures are equally mad.
I'd say there's 3 main possibilities. We leave, do a Swiss or Norwegian type deal, still have to comply with the single market and free movement of labour stuff, and have to pay in serious money. But we get quite a few powers back, there's very little economic dislocation, and so get some sovereignty back for little cost. Because we're such a big market, it's even vaguely possible we could score a much better deal, but I don't buy it. This could be good, as it gets rid of the friction where we're forced into integration we don't want - or pissing everyone else off by vetoing it.
Option 2 is complete disaster. Say us leaving coincides with more refugee crisis, more terrorism crisis, Schengen collapse, Spanish and French political turmoil, as their Two party systems could break down. All of Italy's opposition parries are now seriously suggesting campaigning to leave the Euro, and Italy's debt is now 140% of GDP - and their economy is smaller than when they joined the euro! Italy is a couple of panics away from making Greece look like a picnic. Greece is still in deep shit and the Euro is still guaranteed to fail without major reforms - which so far aren't happening. Say us leaving coincides with several other simultaneous crises, the politicians just can't run fast enough to keep up, and the whole EU collapses. It's not likely, but some country is certain to fall out of the Euro if they don't reform it, and there's no public support for any of the workable solutions. Losing the UK is a huge loss of prestige and strength to the EU. As much as it could be for us. By 2040, EU Commission figures predict we'll have a larger population and GDP than Germany. Plus the UN seat, world financial centre, globally deployable military, diplomatic and cultural reach. The World Bank just predicted (laughs!) that we'll be the 3rd biggest economy behind the US and China by 2050 ish, before being overtaken by maybe India and/or Brasil.
Option 3 is that negotiations break down catastrophically. I'm convinced a fair deal could have been done for Ireland and Greece, and the euro fixed by now. But the Germans and French in particular chose to prioritise protecting their banks. The politicians allowed the narrative to develop that Ireland, and Spain somehow deserved the horrendous economic pain they've suffered. Greece actually did bring it on themselves, but have now suffered the worst economic depression of any peacetime county in history. If Merkel in particular hadn't played to the gallery in 2010, Greece could have been bailed out for €50 billion odd, most of the euro crisis avoided, and Greece might have had a deep recession, rather than losing 30% of GDP and counting, and saddled with a €300 billion bailout that the IMF have refused to take part in, because it cannot work.
I'm so angry about how Greece and Cyprus were deliberately punished, that I'm seriously tempted to vote to leave, whatever. But rationally, lots of EU policy is moving in directions I agree with, as a centrist Conservative. I've lived and worked in Brussels. And I suspect Cameron will get almost everything he's asking for. But there is a strain of irrational nationalist posturing that sometimes hits EU negotiations. As I believe it did with Greece. And if we vote to tell the rest of the EU to get stuffed, they might feel the same way towards us. And as I said earlier, the U.K. is one of the handful of global great powers. Even if the US is way out ahead of everyone else. Suddenly they realise they're losing prestige for losing us perhaps? Maybe we'll be offered an insultingly shit deal, as "punishment", resulting in some painful losses to both us and the EU. Greece was deliberately and cruelly made to grovel, just to make a point. Our voters might take a more "Fuck You" attitude if that happened.
Result, loss of trade and recession, petty squabbling, and probably 5-10 years of slow, patient negotiation - back to some version of option 1.
I'd say under 5% chance of some kind of EU collapse, maybe 15-20% chance of negotiations acrimoniously breaking down, and maybe 5% chance of us getting a better deal than Switzerland or Norway. Leaving over 70% chance of minimal change.
Although long-term, the effects of us leaving are seriously unpredictable. Germany fears getting regularly outvoted by Italy, France and Spain. The Eastern Europeans are desperate to commit NATO and the EU to protect them from Russia. We could cause a damaging split between the EU and NATO.
To put all this in context, 60% of our exports, a bit under 20% of UK GDP, went to the EU before the crisis. Because the ECB and Eurozone chose excessive austerity and deflation, with exports, as their recovery plan, their imports have collapsed. Hence now only 42% of our exports, 14% of GDP, goes to the EU. Overall our exports are higher than before the crisis too. Even more significantly, we have a huge trade deficit with the EU, but a big trade surplus with the rest of the world. This is partly because we're a global leader in services (2nd to the US), but the EU has never completed the single market in services. In manufacturing we're about 8th in the world. Germany, France and Italy are eager to sell us goods, but much more protectionist when it comes to accepting our world leading insurance, legal services, building design, finance, etc. If we could change this, the whole EU would get richer, and we'd reduce or eliminate our dangerously huge trade deficit.
We have leverage. We overtook France as Germany's 2nd largest export market 3 or 4 years ago.
Finally, the Common Agricultural Policy probably doubles or trebles the price of our food. Our poorest people subsidise France's farmers. And the CAP has for years stopped African farmers from trading their way out of terrible poverty. If we could ditch this, the world would be a better place, and we could set aside a portion of the savings to spend on protecting the poorest farmers and protect hedgerows and the rural environment.