There's some wishful thinking in the air, judging by the less than rapturous acclaim for the European response to the financial crisis, but Gideon Rachman's piece in the FT this week on this theme - disowning his own euroscepticism - is worth reading. His basic argument, that Europe's economic, democratic and social/environmental gains need to be defended, and that this can only be done from within the tent, and with proposals for renewal, is absolutely right.
There are lessons for eurosceptics and europhiles in the financial crisis, and I will look at them in a speech on Monday at the Policy Network conference at the LSE: "An EU Fit for Purpose in a Modern Age" My argument will be that Europe's gains can only be preserved by further policy reform. It's an argument for European engagement, not isolation.
And as the Prime Minister pointed out in his speech to the US Congress this week , bilateral and multilateral relationships across the Atlantic are mutually reinforcing. It is good for Britain for the EU-US relationship to be close and effective. Every US president since John Kennedy has supported a more united Europe. Barack Obama is no exception. We cut off our nose to spite our face by thinking that we preserve the strength of the US-UK relationship if we neglect the EU-US relationship.