...there should be an in-out referendum in the next parliament. "If it were held,...the European cause would win, and the sceptics would lose all purchase on British politics for a generation".
Firstly, although the establishment (including the main political parties, media, & especially the biased BBC) would probably pull out all the stops to win a stay-in motion, there's no proof that the status-quo group would actually win. Nor is there any proof that if they did win, that their's would be a big win. And even if they do win, that's no reason why British EU-rejectionists shouldn't continue fighting hard. After all, little's being achieved at present under the quislings Cameron & Osborne anyway - despite a theoretically mainly euro-sceptic Tory backbench. Although that could, of course, change if there's a PM leadership change, but that can't be counted on till it happens, & nor unfortunately can it be counted on to be much of an improvement either - until it actually proves to be so.
Whatever happens when there actually is an EU in-or-out referendum, the question(s) should be framed by an impartial group of judges (like a Supreme Court), which Cameron carefully left out of his faux
Referendum Lock Act of last year. Another requirement should be that if the votes are close, that there should be a re-run within 6 months to a year. Certainly the government would want that if it lost, so why shouldn't that be part of the deal anyway? And as the EU has such a major impact on UK democracy, surely there should also be such a referendum every parliament (just like there should be at least one FULL strategic review, not just a hurried & messy cost-cutting quarter-version of one as happened in 2010).
Finally: one in-out question, or a range of them? For example, a 3rd choice - of an opt-out on most EU matters - would probably prove a winner. But this would require an official referee, eg a Supreme Court, which would then need to be empowered to insist on the government of the day then following the referendum's wishes. No sign of the current 3 main party leaderships agreeing to that kind of thing at present!Watchet