It's a long time now since Garibaldi awakened in Italians an identity other than Piedmontese, Calabrian, Sicilian or Tuscan, slightly longer even than since Bismark used the customs union to create a German identity from a mash of princeling statelets. The EU, of course, has adopted exactly the tactics used for German unification, with a pan European Zollverein that created the need for a pan European currency that would lead to a pan European Chancellorship. But this time it hasn't played out with an acclamation in the Hall of Mirrors, but with Europe's people bubbling angrily away and the IMF at the door.
In the 19th century, folk learned to be less Piedmontese and more Italian, less Bavarian and more German. And we know where that got us. So when the EU wants us to be less British, less Italian, less German and more European they think they're pulling the same trick. Except that the peoples of Europe are now comfortable with their nationality and less willing to lose it. The slow death of the Euro will hit us all hard, but from that crucible may re-emerge across the Continent a popular fire and passion for democracy that has been lost in a Mogadon syrup of social democratic consensus these part forty years.