So, I was wrong in my prediction. Leave won. My colleagues in electoral politics have a nice challenge ahead to learn to model and predict one-off electoral campaigns.
EU membership in the UK entailed, de facto, that in exchange for be(com)ing the financial capital of Europe (London), the UK had to open doors to workers from all over Europe (and EU pensioners could retire in Spain). From Western Europe it drew talent to work in finance and cultural industries (fashion, marketing, pop, etc.); from eastern Europe it drew talent to work in building and local service industries. This created a virtuous cycle of rising incomes and wealth for homeowners and capital; the Southeast part of England has been booming for nearly four decades. (It voted overwhelmingly remain.)
Along the way, London became the financial capital for the most influential citizens from countries with authoritarian regimes; this generated more virtuous cycles of rising assets, and growing services.
But rather than taxing the financial wealth and investing in the areas left behind [and, my God, there are lots of run-down, areas of England], the UK elites partied for four decades. These elites also clung to the special relationship with the United States (see, especially, the second Iraq war).
Earlier in the week I noted that absent a common, language, a common (transcendent) religion, and lacking a nationalist ethos, the EU, which is a new kind of empire of peace, ought to develop a common civic religion that can promote shared values that can inform some idea of a common good. For, right now the political practice of the EU is that 'bad news' will be blamed on (faceless bureaucrats in) Brussels, and 'good news' will be credited to local politicians. The EU governance structure does not permit the rise of strong, central leadership. That combination has proven to be a recipe for undermining the political legitimacy and popularity of the Union, especially in the context of slow economic growth and rising immigration since the Great Crash of 2008.*
I have noted that there is a significant part of Islamic youth among EU citizens that clearly does not feel inspired and recognized by the cultural, political, and economic status quo and that has rejected the modern European project. We now have learned that the least educated bit of the English (!) electorate has decided to throw their lot in with an enduring, popular idol: the nation-state, which has a shared language (and currency), control over population, and can be the conduit that channels shared aspirations if only to keep certain people and ideas out. One can expect that Islamic Internationalism and nation-state chauvinism will clash at the expense of social harmony. To those of us who care about Liberal values (in a broad sense): the battle of ideas -- in favor of the rule of law, exchange of people, ideas, and goods, cosmopolitanism, -- is being lost in Europe.