A European customs union in which goods, services and capital can circulate freely is a pretty good idea. The power of Europe's 440m people as a trade bloc, the internal savings from lower frictional costs of trade and the spin-off advantages of a talking-shop at which representatives of the national governments meet to discuss trade matters are all powerful benefits of such a union of convenience.
Unfortunately, what the EU has become is an unelected cabal of little men from small nations who want to be big. Maltese, Luxembourgers, Belgians and Dutch like the ability to talk on equal terms at France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Sadly, it has led to delusions - delusions that the EU can be a global superpower, and all it needs is an army to go with the flag and the anthem. Germany, the only member with the means to pay for this jejune fantasy, will only go along with it all whilst she is able to exploit the enforced poverty of all the nations of southern Europe that keeps German exports cheap.
Tusk is one of Europe's little men who wants to be big. He is also literally a small man, with all the comedic chihuahua snappishness that comes with Small Man Syndrome. As the EU crumbles around him, all he can think of to say is "Everyone is against us. Therefore we must have even less democracy and a big army, now". Sadly, it is this sort of blind stupidity, remote from voters and the reality of democratic elections, remote from all modern reality in the make-believe Brussels bunkers, that will hasten the EU's failing.
But it's neither in Britain's or Europe's interest to see it all crash. We must now work to turn the EU into what it should have been all along - a trade bloc that benefits its members, not a clumsy attempt at a Ruritanian world power run by the Mayor of Gozo. There's no point talking to fools such as Verhofstadt - they're all away with the fairies. We need to take a dialogue directly to the peoples of Europe's nations and plant the idea of a fundamental reformation of the EU.