What is it about Europe that really gets the Tory goat?


What is it about Europe that really gets the Tory goat? The European Union is not a federal superstate, but a fairly loose confederation of sovereign nations who unite to meet specific economic objectives. It is exactly what David Cameron said he wanted the EU to be in his Andrew Marr interview yesterday:”an association of states not a country”. But suspicion of Europe, and of Germany in particular, is deeply rooted in the Tory psyche. We learned recently that, in 1989, Margaret Thatcher was so worried about the possibility of a united Germany dominating Europe that she asked the soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to stop civil rights demonstrators tearing down the Berlin Wall

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This kind of paranoia clearly dies hard. We are dealing with something that isn’t entirely rational – it is about a pervasive sense of national insecurity in middle England – you just don’t get it up here -; a fear that somehow Britain will wake up one day and find that it is no longer run from Westminster but from Brussels. Many eurosceptics think we already are. Perhaps it is something to do with the legacy of British imperialism – an inability to accept the reality that Britain is now just another country in Europe and not a regional superpower.

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