Hmmm…, I was never much swayed by the sovereignty argument. The historical context is that we are inexorably intertwined with Europe - and lets fact it much British “sovereignty” has its roots in Europe. Our current Royal Family? German/Greek(Hanover, Saxe-Coburg - “Windsor” is mere gilding), before that Dutch (House of Orange), Scottish (Stuart, Bruce), Welsh (Tudor), French (Plantagenet, Angevin, Blois, Norman), Danish, Viking and Roman.
History is one thing, of course, but if we look purely in the modern sense I wonder what difference sovereignty makes - does having sovereignty make a difference to the influence we have over our daily lives - not much I would argue; I have no direct influence over the laws and regulations which control what I can (or cannot) legally do. The chap I voted for at the last election didn’t win so I have no representation. The same is true of a sizeable minority of people. Depending on the exact voting patterns it might even be true of a small majority of people.
Most of the regulations which do come from Europe would, in any case, have to be invented by the UK government but in pulling out we, as individuals, risk loosing protections such as the European Court of Human Rights, or even just mundane stuff such as EU wide health and safety laws which neither employers nor the UK government can wriggle out of. We also loose the right to live and work in the EU.
So, as far as I can see, pulling out mainly benefits the politicians who like to think that they run things - but to what extent is that true? If we wish to sell goods with Europe we will have to produce them to European standards, as now, but without the ability to influence those “normes”. If we want to strike a trade deal with the US we will discover that we are a very small nation and the `states will simply tell us that if we wish tariff free access to US markets we must accept US goods produced to whatever standard pertains there. The chlorine-washed chicken story reveals much about attitudes even if that issue itself is something of a red herring (it seems the EU quietly decided that particular practice was OK).
If membership of an organisation leaves one better off and with a bigger say in world affairs than one would have outside at the cost merely of having to participate in that organisation’s decision making process and accepting the collective conclusion then it seems very foolish to go it alone. There is a deep irony to the fact that some of the things that the leave campaign claimed were being forced upon us were our idea in the first place.
There is also an irony in the fact that the UK retained a lot of sovereignty even within the EU. We did not join the euro, were not a part of Shengen and negotiated multiple opt outs. That we mishandled the A8 accession is not the EU’s fault.
there is a backlash against globalisation but you simply can’t turn your back on it in the modern world which is essentially what the Leavers wanted to do.
I can see that, correctly handled, we could come out of this at least no worse off but I thinkthe signs are that we are mishandling the exit negotiations so signs so far are not great - if, in twenty years, it is clear that we have been better off out - so 2-3% annual growth outside compared with 1.5-2% inside the EU, then I will concede that the pain will have been worthwhile. I’m not holding my breath.