The results of a general election can be undone in about 5 years; that's not the case with a major constitutional change like this.
But the government can still institute major constitutional changes without a referrendum like with the Maastricht Treaty. It has taken decades for an opportunity to undo the Maastricht Treaty has come up.
It's a tricky situation because the voters are not fully informed, but the parties are split and something definitive needs to happen because the question of Europe has divided the UK for two general elections. A referrendum has the advantage of acting as a tie breaker given the split mind of parliament.
I normally don't mind representatives making a decision on my behalf with my decision being only who I want to represent me even when I disagree - because I'm not an expert on most issues and the system is conservative but basically functional. However, a tie-breaker would probably do the UK some good.