Re: Correlation or causation?
Are you not giving those comments above the status of thoughtful, because they agree with you? I also think there's a lot of truth in them. But I don't think they're the only reason for Brexit. Partly because Brexit needed a coalition of voters. And a cross-party coalition at that - though the thing that may permanently changed our politics is that it looks to have broken old party loyalties in a way that has people who would never vote Tory, now doing so.
Brexit has an economic component - described above. But also a major social component. We could call it cosmopolitans versus localism, or socially liberal vs socially conservative? I'm not sure if either quite catches it. And there's an economic component here too. The fury of many young remainers you saw that they were having their rights stolen from them to go and live and work in say Paris or Berlin must have looked a bit funny to someone from Bolsover - who doesn't even think they've got a hope of moving to Manchester or London. Or maybe even self-indulgent, whiny and selfish - hence some of the anger in the argument? People on both sides feeling they're being "got at" and often also insulted.
The lack of democracy and fairness that some people (wrongly) claim for the EU actually lies in Westmonster, where MPs and civil servants have continued screwing over the working class.At least Brexit means the mendacious fuckers can't hide behind the EU any longer, and well hopefully see some domestic change before I die.
There's also this. But I think not in the way you mean. Because it is true that the EU suffers from a lack of democracy, fairness and accountability. The founders of the EU had lived through the 1930s and the war, had seen democracy subverted, and consciously set up the EU to be a counterweight to "the will of the people". This is not some bizarre conspiracy theory, or childishly saying EUSSR, it's all public. It's not a sinister thing, just that some aspects of the EU are hard to square with ongoing democratic consent - because it moves decisions out of day-to-day politics - and then the only way for people to get at those decisions is revolutionary change, like Brexit. The Euro is the most dangerous example of this in my book. If you're an Italian voter who wants to radically change your economic policy, or even to leave the Euro, there's nobody to vote for - because the two current biggest parteis flirted with a Euro referendum when in opposition - but saw the economic consequences of holding it were too disastrous - even though they think Euro membership is also economically disastrous for Italy. If this isn't solved by fixing the Euro, some country will leave in a disorderly manner, and risk collapsing it, or voters will try more and more extreme parties in order to get the problem solved. Note how so many EU countries have lost traditional parties of government in recent years: the SPD in Germany, socialists in France, Pasok in Greece, both old main parties in Italy are now bit-part players around 10% of the vote.
But, as you say, governments also find it useful to complain about decisions they've signed up to in Brussels. The most dishonest thing. Take the recent vaccine fuck-up - we still have no idea whose fault it was, nor will there be probably ever be a political accounting. It suits the governments to blame the Commission - but one reason they took until November to sign most of their contracts was haggling about the price from the member states in the vaccination committees. None of them admit that now though - they might have to resign. So Von der Leyen makes a lovely scapegoat. But as a voter, what can you do? Who can you blame? And how can you vote the buggers out?
But on the other hand, what if some previous government has signed up to something you don't want - and you now can't change it? Who can you blame but Brussels for decisions you don't like or control then?
Now British governments can no longer hide behind this. And those people who voted Brexit on constitutional grounds are happy with that, it's what they voted for.
Those Northern (red wall) seats becoming marginal is shifting the political gravity of this country North - which is likely to be a good thing for reducing the wealth disparities between North and South - but that's a side-effect of Brexit breaking down traditional party support. That one is actually voters' fault as much as politicians. If you only ever vote for one party, they'll tend to take you for granted, and you incentivise the other party to ignore you too.
Some people of course, voted on immigration. That couldn't easily be changed within the EU. But it nicely suited both parties I suspect - that they wanted high net immigration - and suited many voters, but gave a way to easily ignore the economic losers. A lesson other EU countries ought to learn about the Euro, lest the voters suddenly refuse to cooperate, and blow the whole thing up.