Where's the Conservative Eurovision?

There is an irony it’s a German word that describes the glee of eurosceptic MPs at the crisis in the single currency.

Never mind the fact that the apparent immolation of the Greek economy threatens to wipe out our own chances of recovery, Westminster is dripping in schadenfreude.

Sterling-defenders who were derided as empire-loving Little Englanders at the start of the last decade now take credit for keeping Britain out of the currency.

A debate on whether Britain should pull out of the EU is due this day next week, and Home Secretary Theresa May’s assault on the Human Rights Act has ensured euroscepticism now glows at the core of modern Conservatism.

It is a further irony that the MPs who are most ambitious for Britain to play a leading role on the world stage are often those most hostile to the concept of a integrated EU with international clout.

Erstwhile Defence Secretary Liam Fox was adamant that the EU should not challenge the military primacy of Nato.

However, the US has avidly promoted European integration, called for Turkey to be brought into membership, and expressed frustration that the EU is happy for America to defend the continent but reluctant to invest in a world-class military of its own.

Why have pro-US politicians on the right not emerged who are also ambitious for the UK to be the leading force in an activist EU foreign policy? The Libyan intervention showed that David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy were an impressive tag-team capable of getting jets into the sky in defence of liberty. Their commitment gave backbone to the US.

Yes, the Euro as a currency is in a horrible gangrene-ridden state and it is a scandal that this toxic scandal was allowed to develop.

But the development of post-World War II democratic Europe is a US-sponsored project and remains a crowning achievement in the story of not just the continent but humanity. The financial crisis has deepened a sense that Europe is destined to decline as new economies rise but look at the vitality of this 502 million-person union with a GDP of $15 trillion (the same as the US) and raise a glass to its nations’ diversity and commitment to democracy.

The political establishment is clear it does not want a United States of Europe and sceptics were right to warn that the Euro was a ticket to calamity. But we also need people who to put forward positive and exciting vision for how the countries of Europe can work together in the 21st century to shape this world so that prosperity spreads and freedom rules.

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