But Germans have a better memory than the French of the complicated outsider role played by the Brits and its importance in European history. Would it be prudent to marginalize them and to eschew their weight in foreign policy? And what would Europe's defensive capabilities be without Britain? Without the Brits, would we have the European common market that we have today? And what position would Germany be in if its last closest major partner was the French?Keeping the Hun Down, Ivan Out and the Septics In has been British foreign policy since 1945 and so far Europe has done pretty well out of it. Let's not shirk now.
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Britain is good for Europe
A peaceful, prosperous Europe in which the rule of law prevails has ever been Britain's key foreign policy aim. Europe is a key market for our goods, and key customers of our legitimate financial services (insurance, brokerage, commodities, exchange rather than the buccaneer bankers who have screwed our entire economy) - why wouldn't we want a wealthy and stable Europe? Ever since we traded wool for Burgundy wine we've aimed to maintain a balance of power in Europe; between France and Spain, Germany and Austria, France and Germany, until recently by manipulating a series of bilateral or trilateral treaties but since the EU by playing a powerful broker role under a plenary treaty, always aimed at preventing any one Euro nation getting too powerful. By and large, our influence has been good for Europe. It's encouraging that Handelsblatt as reported in Der Spiegel recognises this;