The UK has been affected by events in mainland Europe since history began, as mainland Europe has been affected by events on the British Isles. In response to Matt Wood’s post ‘David Cameron Needs a Vision for the Future of Europe’, Konrad Schiemann, former Judge at the European Court of Justice from 2004 to 2012, nominated by the UK, argues that whilst it is understandable that the UK Parliament asks what is best for the UK, it might be more beneﬁcial in the long-term, both for Europe but also for the UK itself, to ask ‘what is best for Europe?’.
Any historical perspective makes plain that the UK, like every other European country, has always been hugely affected by what is happening elsewhere in Europe. Britain was colonised by the Romans; the Spanish Empire sought domination as did the French under Louis XIV and Napoleon, the Germans under the Kaiser and Hitler, and the Soviet Union under Stalin. The beginnings of the creation of a European Common Market in the 1950s all hugely affected this country long before the UK ofﬁcially joined what became the EU in 1973. Moreover, the adoption of the Euro by many of the other countries of the EU has affected the UK notwithstanding that the UK has not adopted it. Continue reading