Of course economic considerations influence political decision-making, but some are too fundamental to draw up a cost benefit analysis. At the heart of the issue is whether or not Britain should remain part of an expanding and undemocratic super-state. Democracy should not be sacrificed upon a cross of gold.
It is too simplistic, to say the least, to think that having filed for divorce with a vote to Leave we would get to dictate from the sidelines the terms and settlement to access EU markets following the separation. For all its frustrations, being part of the world's largest trading bloc, is critical for the investment projects that are so vital for success in the Northern Powerhouse. We need to remain to keep it that way.
Our democratic rights are all we have to protect us from tyranny and poor government. We must not sell them for the illusion of a pot of EU gold. People on both sides will try to use scare stories of immigration, risks to the economy, house prices, war and all sorts of other noisy issues, but, at its quiet heart, democracy is the defining issue of this referendum.
It has long been evident that the referendum on 23 June is about whether Britain's membership of the European Union should be maintained regardless of the deal David Cameron struck with the EU member countries on 19 February 2016. As such, the questions facing unions and their members are even more profound and searching than could have been expected.
There is much at stake in Europe just now. The external environment is characterised by economic slowdown, the pressure of conflict, the refugee crisis, and the need to move rapidly to act on the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those related to climate. Urgent action is also needed to tackle the tax and transparency issues revealed by the Panama Papers. The threat of global disease epidemics is ever-present, with Ebola having been supplanted by the zika virus as the most urgent current threat. In all these arenas, the priority is coordinated action among groups of nations: another reason to put the global role of the EU high on the agenda.
Instead of sitting back, crossing our fingers and hoping for an end to the Syrian civil war, the EU should be uniting to heap pressure on those regional powers blocking the path to peace. Never before has a continent with so much invested in the stability of its surrounding regions, been so reluctant to project its power and defend its interests.
Against everyone's better judgement, Brexiteers have now been forced to abandon all reason and double down on their hopes that Britain's festering xenophobia will ultimately be enough to defeat economic literacy come June. Politicians like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have consequently placed every last shred of credibility on the line by attempting to disprove their own fundamental beliefs on the supposed economic benefits of immigration. That's a pretty risky bet...
Frank Field would do well to take a leaf out of Jeremy Corbyn's book. He should look at the EU of the 21st Century not the 1970s. Corbyn has changed his position, he has come around to the ideas that the Liberal Democrats have long been extolling. The current EU is good for the UK; not only that it's good for traditional Labour voters - something Corbyn has come to realise.