Choice 1: Stay in the European Union and try to reform it to more liberal/British principles: This is the situation that most politicians and a large proportion of the British people would like. Less of a social Europe and more focused on extending free trade, reducing regulation, reducing bureaucracy and adding democratic accountability. This is pretty unfeasible in short term negotiations, there isn't a real appetite for a more liberal system on the continent at the moment with much of Europe blaming the liberal economy for causing the current crises. However over time (perhaps decades) with a Anglo-Saxon lead alliance a charge for a more liberal Europe can be made as Britain and Germany share a lot of economic ideals. However this will require a good relationship between leaders with no hostility and current conditions don't help with sincere constructive negotiation.
The British people are also growing increasing impatient with; UKIP (EU referendum party) rising from 4%-14% in the polls in only a year, conservative MPs becoming increasingly rebellious and determined on the European question, that it is highly unlikely that this sort of negotiation will be allowed to happen unless the British people get and in-out referendum and choose to stay inside, which itself is unlikely to happen currently.
A British EU?
By 2050 the U.K. is predicted to be the largest economy in Europe and 10th largest in the world due to the rise of the developing nations (although there is some doubt now as they are slowing down) this could allow the U.K. to remain as one of the most economically prosperous and influential countries being the leading member of the European Union in policy alliance with Germany and other northern European States against France and the club med countries.
Choice 2: Leave the European Union and Seek to rekindle Commonwealth ties: This is the situation that the right wing of British Politics would prefer with UKIP seeking to set up a commonwealth free trade agreement if they were elected into government. This to me seems very unlikely to happen across the whole commonwealth as it contains a vast array of different members many in Africa which don't have fond memories of Britain for obvious reasons and any European union style of integration of the commonwealth would be unthinkable. However seeking to increase CANZUK (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom) co-operation and ties outside of the European Union could be a possible route to take. There are strong cultural ties between these countries which are not shared with other parts of the commonwealth in Africa and the Indian sub-continent.
It may be possible to re-integrate the CANZUK countries in the distant future but this time not through British Colonization but through cooperation with a shared history, culture and beliefs (which is lacking in the EU.) Commonwealth citizens are already free to vote and stand for election in the U.K. and visa preferences exist for commonwealth citizens between countries, there is also the joint initiative between the U.K. and Canada with probable inclusion of Australia and New Zealand to share embassies around the world. Perhaps Britain's future lies in the United Kingdoms of Canada Australia New Zealand Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as one country it would have the 3rd largest defence budget in the world at $115.5 Billion (at current levels not very far behind China,) the 4th largest economy in the world at $5.9 Trillion (at current levels which could easily overtake Japan which has been in standstill for over a decade,) the 11th largest population in the world at 125 million people (current levels), 4th largest Oil producer in the world (significantly larger than Iran,) the 3rd largest Natural Gas producer in the world, the worlds biggest gold producer and holder of 40% of the worlds uranium reserves all while being the largest country in the world (significantly larger than Russia.)
A new Superpower?
This project would be a very long term project but would allow the four countries which have a lot in common in all areas to stand together as one large voice on the world stage which can stand its own against the United States, China and other rising economies. However this would probably require Canada to leave NAFTA and the populations of the individual countries might not want to re-merge rendering this future improbable but possible.
Choice 3: Leave the EU and go it alone: This is the situation some of the extreme Eurosceptics in the conservative party would like to do, seeking to try negotiate a free trade deal with the E.U. after leaving while seeking free trade deals with the rising economies which the E.U. does not allow. Without many of the unwanted E.U. regulations and policies, Business would be free to create many more jobs, fisherman would be able to fish more fish, there would be lower food prices, lower energy costs and the government and the people could pursue the economic and political agenda they wished. The U.K. could take a step back from the world stage and decide its days at the top are gone and just focus on increasing the wealth and happiness of it citizens, or instead it could try to keep its large influence and try to get to the top again on its own, this wont happen any time soon but who knows what is going to happen in 25, 50 or 100 years time perhaps the U.K. could take back its leading role from the united states or perhaps it could be a Singapore of Europe.
The future of the U.K.?
This is the most likely outcome as the CANZUK union has a lot of hurdles to jump and just over half (and likely growing, but that could change) of the U.K. want to leave the E.U. but there are many dangers if negotiations go sour with the E.U. a free trade deal could be denied upon leaving and other negotiations with countries could go badly meaning a isolated Britain in a global world relying only on its domestic innovations. However I do think its likely trade deals will be achieved Britain is the 6th largest economy in the world with good demographics for the future and a good country image in most parts of the world.
I would support choice 2 but that is the least likely of the three to happen. So what do you think about the current situation, what do you think is the best choice if any and what impact do you think it will have on your country?