Many things are best decided locally and so there is a lot to be said for having strong local government making as many decisions as possible in the locality where those decisions will be implemented.
Some things, however, impact on the entire nation and it is important that decisions are made about them nationally.
Other things go beyond the borders of the nation and it is much more convenient if the same rules are adopted across the whole of Europe. Trade rules for example.
Or rules about what toxins can be pumped into the air that we breathe that respects no borders. Or the safety of toys that are sold to our children. Or the conditions that we will allow animals to be kept in if we don’t want the lowest standards to outsell the products of responsible local farmers on the largest single market in the world.
If Britain leaves the EU and it remains intact, then rules about what happens in Europe will continue to be made.
All that will happen is that we will lose the 12 per cent of the votes that we currently get in what those rules are and we will have to comply with rules made by others.
We will not be able to stop trading with our biggest partner and voters in EU countries will never agree to allowing UK companies to obey easier rules than their own.
So a vote out is simply a vote to lose control and influence over necessary decision making.
If a vote for Brexit results in the break-up of the EU, then we are back to a continent of small nations states each with its own rules and regulations and sooner or later each with its own disputes.
Since my grandfather was shot at by Germans in a trench in the Somme and my father bombed on an air base in Norfolk, I am personally pretty grateful to the EU.
A bit of messy diplomacy is a small price to pay for a continent at peace.