That seems to be the consensus among economists, business leaders, and consultants. No matter how much the British kick and scream, their course has been set since the country joined the Common Market in 1973.

Says Keith Stock, a senior consultant for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young: “The ship has sailed, and it’s not like the British not to have noticed that.”

“There are so many things you don’t have to worry as much about, like volatility of exchange rates. It has standardized the risks of doing business in 12 different countries.”

— Bob Uhler, MWH Global