I personally believed that brexit would pass.
It actually opens up a path for global EU reform. Things such as a particular country ability to override particular EU laws and regulations but with certain proportional financial penalties that ramp up over time; and or phase in's. And immigration reform. Namely the right of countries to refuse new immigrants. (If a country chooses to adopt a new immigrant they should stay in that country for years to adapt and prove they are civilly minded; I say 10 years. You need to show you are well adapted and civilly minded.) And actually funding for a real border. No country should be forced to accept immigrants even for humanitarian reasons.
Image the embarrassment of certain dictatorship committees if 2/3rds of counties voluntarily choose to not implement a policy but rather pay the penalty.
They can reform the EU on condition that the UK re-votes to stay in.