Matt’s Crow Country: EU’d be mad to take an insular approach

FOR most people, going to Europe is a pleasurable experience.

Holidaymakers flock there for some cultural nourishment – or Mediterranean sun – while many Premier League footballers spend their whole season trying to get into Europe by qualifying for the Champions or Europa leagues.

But apparently it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

David Cameron, for one, doesn’t seem so keen.

On his first visit to the continent since taking office, our new Prime Minister declared that there was “no question” of the UK backing any treaty designed to give the European Union more power to deal with the financial crisis affecting Greece and other nations in the “Eurozone”.

Mr Cameron obviously has a difficult job on his hands to deal with this country’s own fiscal problems, but I find the government’s attitude here, and the attitude of many British people, to be somewhat short-sighted.

Like it or not, Europe is there on our doorstep. As a nation, we do about 50 per cent of our trade with other European countries, so to take such a selfish stance could badly affect the UK economy in the long run if other nations continue to struggle.

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During the same visit, the Prime Minister said he wanted Britain to be “a positive player” in the EU.

But will other nations take us seriously if we don’t do our bit?

If we don’t play an active part when times are bad, then why should we reap the rewards when things pick up?

That’s the whole point of a union of nations, you can’t pick and choose the bits you like all the while, as Britain has strived to do over the years, under various governments.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the EU is perfect.

But at the same time I don’t think in the modern era that we can afford to take such an insular approach.