You only have to ask that question to realise that leaving the EU would massively strengthen the right wing in this country. Nigel Farage transforms from a fringe politician leading a bunch of deeply dubious people into the visionary who saw it all first. Ian Duncan Smith becomes the mainstream in the Conservative party. Nationalism becomes the flavour of the month and Scotland becomes the home of treachery and dissention.
The Daily Express and the Mail start work on campaigning to take advantage of our new freedoms. They begin by insisting all that pesky nonsense about rights at work gets cleared out of the way. Along with women's rights at work like maternity pay. The next morning they start work on freeing us from the European bureaucracy of environmental controls and subsidies. Then they decide that we've had enough of supporting farmers and that sort of thing is too French.
In the midst of a storm of nasty politics a few left wingers such as George Galloway speak up to say that they have been betrayed. He announces that he wanted out so that we could run a workers state and strengthen union rights and now he has been sidelined despite loyally supporting an exit. He looks and sounds as irrelevant as he has ever done. And that takes some doing.
The EU exit campaign isn't a nice little attempt to explore how best Britain can relate to the rest of the world. It is about power and dominance. The right wing in this country see an opportunity to shift the whole nature of British life radically in their direction. They see it as the most effective way that they can attack the welfare state and dismantle workers' rights.
The issue for the left ought to be incredibly simple. We live in a complex world and issues need dealing with at the right level by properly representative democracy. Some issues are local, some are regional, many are national, increasingly many are global and some are European. When it comes to those European decisions we need a mechanism to agree and the only game in town is the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU and it remains in place then it will continue to make decisions. These will range from European police collaboration, European energy markets, rules for product and services sold to 600 million consumers and minimum standards for companies wanting to trade in the EU. Anyone wanting to sell to Europe is going to have to comply with those rules. Anyone not in the EU is unlikely to have much say about what they are.
Which brings me to TTIP. I have always believed that free trade tends to be massively to the advantage of ordinary working people. Ever since the Conservatives tried to make workers pay more for their bread by imposing a corn law tax the British left have tended to recognise that protection simply puts the price up. Anyone who lived through the 1930s watched as country after country competed to put up tariffs and shut out the trade of others only to discover that global trade dropped and we got the Great Depression and the Second World War. The left recognised the dangers of that and worked hard to avoid it in the years that followed the war by maintaining free trade. Free trade, in and of itself, isn't against the interest of working people.
TTIP is. It isn't a simple free trade deal. It is a mechanism that puts countries at the mercy of international corporate lawyers. It hands to multinationals the right to sue the British government if it does anything that they think is anti-competitive. Like setting up a nationalised railway service or ring fencing NHS contracts for community run suppliers. For this reason I am every bit as opposed to TTIP as virtually everyone else on the left and not a few on the far right.
But agreements like TTIP don't go away the morning after we pull out of the EU. They go forward without the UK having much say about what they include. Not convinced? Consider this. The EU and the US sign a TTIP agreement setting rules for free trade between the two continents. Then little old Great Britain, or rather what is left of it after Scotland leaves, says "Hang on a minute. We don't like part of this agreement. Could you change it please?" Can you seriously imagine the US trade department listening to us? We'd be told that it was all agreed and we could either abide by the rules or not export. Why would anyone allow one country to produce and sell in accordance with the producers across two continents were sticking to one set of rules? Why would the EU and US decide to complicate negotiations between continents by agreeing to give the UK a seat around the negotiating table?
Even the things about the EU that the left, quite correctly, most dislikes and mistrusts won't be weakened by an exit. They will be strengthened.
So those of us on the left have a simple choice. We could choose to listen to George Galloway. A man who has been kicked out of Bradford and Tower Hamlets for sounding impressive and then failing to deliver. A man who has taken money from dictators to speak up for their regimes. A man who is happy to share a platform with Nigel Farage but constantly snipes at Corbyn.
We could choose to strengthen the hand of Ian Duncan Smith and Michael Gove and see the British Tea Party Conservatives finally kill off the last remnants of One Nation Conservatism. We could please the Daily Mail and the Express.
Or we could vote to stay in an organisation riddled with faults but which has proved itself to be big enough to stand up to multinational corporations and say that if they want to sell to 600 million wealthy consumers then they have to pay their workers a decent wage, let them work in a safe place, give them proper time off for maternity and paternity, and face serious penalties if they sack them unfairly.
It seems to me to be a pretty clear choice. The left should be campaigning hard to stay in.