Editorial: Some sense on Europe, at last

Share
Related Topics

With Britain's place in Europe more uncertain now than at any time for 40 years, it can only be welcome that the far-reaching consequences of a departure from the EU are being spelled out so loudly. Perhaps, between the warnings of the US government and those from a weighty section of our own business community, those clamouring for the UK to go it alone might – finally – be given pause for thought.

US diplomats' caution against endangering our membership of the EU is a timely one. Washington's bafflement at who to call when wanting to talk to Europe is well documented. Since the 1970s, the answer to the question has often been Britain. Sever the link, however, and not just the "special relationship" but also our broader geopolitical position will be materially damaged. The message from the business community is hardly less forceful, with high-profile figures including Richard Branson warning of the economic destabilisation that would result from our withdrawal.

Faced with the far-reaching upheavals of the euro crisis, the ever-increasing Euroscepticism of even mainstream Conservative MPs and the rise of the UK Independence Party, David Cameron finds himself with less and less room to manoeuvre on the issue. Thus far, the Prime Minister has tried to strike a balance, maintaining his commitment to Britain's remaining within the EU even as he reiterates his desire for a looser relationship with key powers "repatriated" from Brussels. But the pressure is building. And his long-awaited speech on the subject of Europe – now expected later this month – is likely to give the nod to a referendum after the 2015 election, which will be cheered by his Eurosceptic colleagues.

It was always naive to imagine that anti-Europe ideologues would give much thought to the arguments presented by their political opponents. With the case in favour of Britain remaining in Europe now being made by two more sympathetic constituencies, perhaps at last the alternative view will gain a hearing.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

DevOps Engineer - Linux, Shell, Bash, Solaris, UNIX, Salt-Stack

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: A fast growing Financial Services organisation b...

Trade Desk FIX Analyst - (FIX, SQL, Equities, Support)

£50000 - £60000 per annum + excellent benefits: Harrington Starr: An award-win...

DevOps Engineer - (Linux, Shell, Bash)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer - (Linux, Shell, Bash)DevOps Eng...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Would you fork out to spend time on Sting's Tuscan estate?  

Happy to pay for the privilege of picking olives? Then Sting might have a job for you...

John Walsh
Clockwise from top: Zafran Ramzan, Razwan Razaq (main picture), Adil Hussain, Umar Razaq and Mohsin Khan were sentenced for grooming teenage girls for sex in 2010.  

Nothing can make up for the trauma of Rotherham's abused young girls, but many more heads must roll

Jane Merrick
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis