Whatever happens today, whether the British public votes to remain or leave the EU, it will go down as a watershed event in UK history.
When Prime Minister David Cameron promised a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, it was widely regarded that remaining in the EU would be the preferred choice of the majority.
Events over the past few months, as campaigning on both sides reached fever pitch, has proven otherwise.
The Leave campaign, led by Vote Leave, has gained ground, helped by the popularity of some of its most prominent advocates, one of whom is being tipped as a future prime minister.
Neither of the main political parties are likely to emerge unscathed. The Conservative party – whose recent history has been punctuated by a fierce debate over EU membership – appears more divided than ever.
In fact, if the UK votes to leave, Mr Cameron’s position may become untenable.
The Labour Party has not been exactly convincing either. Its leader Jeremy Corbyn has left the former prime minister Gordon Brown, and his predecessors to do much of the talking.
The Liberal Democrats, a pro-EU political party to its core, have been ineffectual, decimated in part by their pasting in last year’s general election.
The latest research, as Financial Adviser went to press, appeared to show that the value of European assets could be severely impacted should Britain take the decision to leave. This is according to a survey of almost 1,500 global dealmakers involved in mergers and acquisitions, released by Intralinks, a provider of secure content collaboration solutions.
Financially, many organisations have come out in favour of remain, while a few leading industry lights are firmly in the Leave camp. While we may debate the quality of the information we have received from either camp, there will be one winner in all this – democracy.