Quentin Peel has a column in today’s Financial Times that all anglophone bloggers interested in European Union politics should read and keep in mind. Here are the key parts:
… For years US administrations, like other English-speaking governments around the world, have tended to look at the EU through a distorting prism. More often than not, they have looked at Europe through British eyes.
It is certainly not just a problem for America. It is true for countries such as India and Australia, too, and indeed for many governments in Asia and Africa, although it is not so much a problem for Spanish-speaking Latin America. It is simply a reflection of the accessibility of the English language, the easy availability of the British media and familiarity with the British political debate.
The trouble is that the UK is not at the heart of the European discussion. It is frequently not in the mainstream of European thinking but rather the odd one out, whether as a non-member of the eurozone or as an outsider in the Schengen border-free area. Indeed, the debate in the UK is still raging over whether the country should be in or out of the EU, instead of focusing on how the Union should best function.
Of course the US and other governments do not pay attention exclusively to British views when weighing up the politics of Europe. They are far more sophisticated than that. But UK views get disproportionate attention on the airwaves and in the press, and thus in the political chatter.