Meanwhile elsewhere (£) Ambrose sets out the IMF's revised forecasts for the next few years; the Eurozone stuck in a low growth model for years with GDP growth never getting above half a percent, the BRIC nations at the limits of catch-up growth and levelled-off. The US will power ahead and even the UK, fuelled by a house price bubble (that's me, not Ambrose), will charge ahead. Never forget the compound effects of even small differences in GDP growth rates - as this simple table demonstrates
A strong £ against a weak € will make trade in Europe hard for our manufacturers, but offers the EU a lucrative export market; weak BRIC economies will curtail German export growth focused on them. European capital will want to invest in UK business and all together the UK starts to assume a much more dominant position in Europe's hierarchy - sharing the top table with Germany within five or six years, with a widening gap between us both and France and Italy beneath.
Cameron is relying on this change of fortune, I think, to give substance to 'renegotiation' - that the UK and Germany together, for very different reasons but both dealing with domestic political pressures, will act in concert to change the commitment to 'Ever Closer Union'.
North remains convinced that 'out' is the only way and he may well have the right of it - but with the UK increasingly more important to the EU than the EU is to the UK, it leaves us with some intriguing options.
News that Italian flag-carrier Alitalia is on the verge of bankruptcy again - needing €500m within days to prevent closedown, as they can't even pay their fuel bills right now. The merged Air France - KLM already owns a quarter of Alitalia and may have to increase its stake to keep the eyeties afloat. BA already owns Iberia of course and is in the process of gently eliminating the brand, which leaves the prospect of just three remaining flag carriers in Europe - BA, Lufthansa and a merged Air France - KLM - Alitalia. You'd need a heart of stone ...