So we have a new term: BRIXIT.
Japan's biggest bank Nomura has issued an 11-page study evaluating the likelihood that the UK will leave the European Union entirely or partly.
Events could accelerate as soon as this autumn if eurozone woes force the Government to commit to a firm date for a BRIXIT referendum.
"The effect a looser relationship with the EU would have on the UK economy in general and on the financial services sector in the UK in particular is not clear at this time, even though British eurosceptics argue that being freed from EU regulation would be a booster. However, the prospect is, in our view, bound to raise concerns – indeed, is doing so already in the City."
The core point is that the eurozone may have to take drastic steps in integration (fiscal union, etc) to save the euro, making it nigh impossible for a fully sovereign state to remain part of the Project.
In other words, it is not so much Britain leaving the EU as the EU leaving the treaty-based club of sovereign states it was supposed to be.
The report is part of the bank's "Issues which keep me awake at night" series.
It does not take sides.
Here are a few extracts, written by Alastair Newton (an ex-British diplomat, former head to Tony Blair's G7 team, and intelligence co-ordinator in the first Gulf War). Unfortunately, we cannot post the whole report online because of Nomura's compliance rules. The bank emphasises that this is his personal opinion.
Blair is "deeply worried" UK may leave EU: paper
(Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a German newspaper he
was "deeply worried" Britain might opt to leave the European Union in a
referendum, particularly if too many powers were transferred to Brussels without
Talk of Britain leaving the EU was once farfetched, but the euro zone debt crisis and the prospect of the currency bloc forging a closer political union have convinced some senior UK politicians it is time to demand a new relationship with Brussels.
Current Prime Minister David Cameron said last month it was a "perfectly honorable position" to call for an immediate referendum on Britain's EU membership - something polls show a majority of British people would vote to reject - but that he would never campaign for an "out" vote because leaving the EU would not serve British interests.
Blair told Die Zeit it was clear that the euro zone crisis would lead to a "powerful political change of the EU", adding: "And on this point, I am deeply worried that Britain could decide by referendum to leave the whole process."
Euro founder admits some nations may be forced to leave ... One of the founding fathers of the euro admits that some states may be forced to abandon the single currency, but insists Germany would be better off staying in. Otmar Issing, a former European Central Bank chief economist, warned that the eurozone could be heading towards fracture in a book called How we save the euro and strengthen Europe published this week. "Everything speaks in favour of saving the euro area. How many countries will be able to be part of it in the long term remains to be seen," said Mr Issing in the book, which is written as a conversation between an economist and a journalist. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: Like Celine Dion's heart, the EU and euro will go on ...
Free-Market Analysis: Are the Eurocrats finally starting to crack? Otmar Issing, a notable pro-EU figure, has just released a book that promotes the possibility of a euro bust-up.
More on that below ... First, let's summarize the article excerpted above.
Any way you analyze it, it sounds like the beginning of a climb down.