For the record, my personal history on these matters in full:
6 June 1975 - Labour had promised in its manifestos to hold a referendum on whether we should stay in. That is, both at the Feb 1974 and Oct 1974 general elections. In the first, they got 301 seats against the Tories' 297 - not enough to form an overall majority - and the Tories actually got more votes. In the second, they got 319 to 277, securing an overall majority of just 3. Call it a nation divided roughly 52%-48%. I had got into politics in September 1974 because of what seemed like saturation media election coverage but actually that was trivial compared with the obsessive cranking up of everything now. It just reflected two elections in one year. By the referendum in June 1975 I had at age 12 what I considered to be a weighty nine months political expertise and declared we should stay in. I also knew my place and felt I didn't need to vote until the age of 18 or ideally 35 for only then would I know if I wanted to wear pyjamas and vests.
While pleased with the two thirds majority for staying in, life was beginning to take its toll. Seeing trees at Port Talbot in the previous year singed by chemical fumes had left me feeling worried about the future of the planet, not that I took it to the United Nations with a lecture. The discussions leading to the referendum had also introduced me to the concept of us all being wiped out in a nuclear war before 1980. I had sleepless nights about it. Furthermore, it all merged with the concept of sex which had been described in a biology lesson during which I passed out. That was in January 1975. What a year. Too much life stuff. Too much death stuff. Feeling overwhelmed and dizzy every time I visited a library, I was put to the backdrop of Oh I'm Going To Barbados by Typically Tropical on tranquillisers just before June 1975 had ended. Consequently there were no celebrations of the outcome. Luckily, I did get over the nuke thing within weeks as it seemed unreal and it would be a full 20 years before I would need temporary medication for anxiety again, mainly on account of seeing throughout two full decades the prospect of any sort of relationship as an Armageddon to be avoided at all costs.
6 June 1975 - 6 June 2013 - During this 38 year period which equalled 13,870 days, I never once met anyone who said to me that they adored the arrangement we had with the EEC/EC/EU or that they loved it or that they even liked it. Not one. No hint of utter devastation if we ever left it. The subject just never arose. I met people who told me that they adored sex and adored football and adored beer and adored knitting and even adored pottery pigs but not Europe. The obvious conclusion to make is that throughout this entire period no one was emotionally in love with our membership even in balanced terms, let alone the overwrought, I consistently supported parties that were for ongoing membership but then almost everyone did for donkey's years because no mainstream party was ever against it. It was simply assumed.
As for opposition to our membership, there were always complaints about curly bananas and similar trivialities. One assumed this was a consequence of the naturally whinging working classes although, as things have transpired, it is clear that aspect of character is not at all class based. On the final day of this period, I watched a three hour film of the BBC's election coverage in 1966 - an election which Labour had also won. The latter part was journos on Westminster Bridge at breakfast time asking the plebs what they thought about the result and what their hopes were. One seemingly old woman pushing a pram - she was probably no more than 55 although presented as about 80 - spoke in a strong cockney accent. She said she hoped that Mr Wilson would sort out the dampness in all the pensioners' slum houses - the young business types who were interviewed had also highlighted old people's poverty as an outrage - and get us into the Common Market. Frankly I was gobsmacked to hear that someone from her background had been in favour. Probably the bigwigs saw it and decided to put it on hold until the 1970s as it might give people like her too much of a sense of clout.
6 June 2013 - 6 June 2019 - Sometime during this period, there was a referendum. I voted to stay in although I had come to the conclusion I didn't give a toss about the result. Factually, neither option was good, let alone great. When the result came through, I fully accepted it and have done ever since. I still see it as neither good nor bad. Rather it is something which just happened. The lack of acceptance of the outcome by many has astonished me, saddened me, angered me and irritated me. It has been like watching millions decide cult like that we moved at that time into a time warp of 2016. That arguments relevant to the referendum should ever have been felt to be relevant after it seems utterly absurd. But the most incredible aspect of it all is the orgiastic love-in from these legions. They - and it - have emerged from precisely nowhere given that no love whatsoever was ever declared by ordinary members of the public for the institution for more than a third of a century. Consequently, my perspective on it and I realise there are others, just as many have concerns about whether we will be able to sexually reproduce if some or other bomb destroys the planet, is that these armies are fake.