Helmut Cole the ex German chancellor said of Mrs Thatcher
”She wanted Europe, but a different Europe from that wanted by most of her European colleagues and me. From our point of view, this antagonism characterises British policy on Europe to this day.”
It has become standard shorthand to blame everything on Mrs Thatcher as if she set the template for everything which followed her departure from office. For Europe read EU all of the colleagues delight in confusing the continent with the political project.
Of course far from being the fault of Margaret Thatcher the real problem of British membership of the EU has been and remains today, that all our leaders have fantasised about changing the EU in to something other than what it is intended to become, halting the building process at the point at which we joined or returning it to that point. Even Heath thought he could change the direction of the EU and every leader since him has thought the same.
Only last week David Cameron and his family were invited by the present German Chancellor Angela Merkel to stay at her residence in Meseberg, outside Berlin to discus his plans for a renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU followed by a referendum. Against a backdrop of a general belief there will have to be treaty revisions in order to buttress the eurozone against internal destruction.
There must be something in the water in Britain that leads those we elect to believe that what the colleagues have gone to the trouble of writing in a treaty is not the reality of what they want, but merely a starting point for a negotiation. All the history of the EU to date points in one direction yet not in the slightest deterred our leaders stand there with their hand raised as if to stop the oncoming traffic, but at the same time implementing every EU rule that comes our-way, whilst telling us the people, that they will achieve the impossible feat of taking the British train to a different destination than all the other states, whilst we remain a full participating member of the club.