It is possible, if you choose to think like them, to see the world through the eyes of any politician. If you choose to see the world through the eyes of David Cameron then the EU referendum is a win-win scenario.
For Cameron a Remain vote is a straight win. He has achieved his preferred policy outcome. However, Tim Evans is confident that Cameron has a Plan B.
Five years ago the German elite were unified in their belief in the European Union and the Euro. However German industrial leaders and leadership insiders are now split 1:3. The new smaller faction now want there to be structural reform on the EU. They don’t want the blame for causing that reform, but they do favour it. The English are good at handling crisis moments, like a Brexit vote, and will strike a deal with this faction. Thanks to WTO rules and the terms of the Lisbon Treaty then the EU is bound to ensure a neighbourly approach to Britain with negotiation of exit terms being compulsory. In this period the Germans will not let Britain leave but will take the opportunity to get their strategic refresh.
Boris Johnson has form for negotiating trade deals. By performing well on an official visit, he forced George Osborne onto a plane to finalise a deal he negotiated with the Chinese (contrary to US interests). Professor Evans imagines that if Britain votes to leave, Boris will be on a plane to Berlin to handle the crisis. Instead of “Leave” meaning “Leave” Boris will be striking a fresh agreement for a new fudged arrangement with the EU.
There is historical precedent for a Hanseatic League involving the fiscally conservative northern European states, trading with Britain. There could be a new Anglo-German-plus collection of states with an agreement between themselves.