Charlemagne has a very thoughtful piece in this weeks Economist (Nov 3rd to 9th) that should be read by Europhile and skeptic alike. The gist of the piece is that Britain is turning its back on the EU by ignoring the need for sending our best bureaucrats. Indeed, some bureaucrats fear it will hinder their career to spend time there.
The piece concludes:
This may be bad for Britain, but should anybody else care? One answer is
that British influence has often been useful to others, and especially to
newcomers. Seasoned British officials may slow the rush to regulate, for
example, and they are usually keen on enlargement. The British can be awkward,
selfish and devious players of the EU game. But plenty of people would miss them
if they wandered off and forgot that Europe exists.
It is also dismissive of Gordon's approach to the EU
But Gordon Brown is said to regard the EU as, at best, another multilateral organisation (like the G8 or the World Bank) and, at worst, as irrelevant.
I would say it more important than that. We need to put a spoke in the move to "Ever closer union" which is the driving force behind all these bloody summits and treaties.
Like it or not, Gordon, the EU isn't irrelevant, they are taking ever more control of our daily lives so get you fucking arse in gear and either get us out, NOW, or engage our best bureaucrats to get stuck in and start fucking up the whole shebang whilst getting us the best deals available.