I'm a 100% Europe fan. I do not want my children or their children to suffer as my grandfather and father did in two world wars which both had their origins in Europe. NATO has worked very well in keeping Europe at peace though whether it should be in Afghanistan is another matter. It would make sense to bring NATO closer to the EU: maybe even a part of it.
I'm a 100% supporter of the idea of the EU but I do not support it as it stands. It is woefully managed and organised. It is entirely unaccountable to its 27 national Parliaments. Its year-on-year budgets have major holes in them where corruption is clearly evident. In this tough economic climate it makes no sense for the EU Parliament to have to up its sticks to Strasbourg once a month not for their to be a separate administration in Luxembourg. These were jobs for the boys and they are no longer appropriate now we have 27 member countries. Nor is the language translation budget sensible. The European diplomatic and political language is English. None of these problems will be addressed in my lifetime.
What should the UK Government do?
For one, I think it should say that until these issues are addressed we will put our annual contribution into an escrow account.
For two, the annual budget has to have built into it a reduction for the next decade.
For three, we should create a separate department of Government out side of the Foreign Office called the European Office so we can properly focus on all things European. The FCO cares little for Europe.
For four, we should actively close down as many embassies in Europe as makes sense and merge their back offices and put our resources into a grand European embassy in Brussels.