Essential reading from **Mark A.R. Keiman</strong> on Europe:</p>

I have no trouble understanding the feelings of British Euroskeptics; the British political sytem works pretty well, and the EU still hasn’t figured out a way of making its institutions responsive to voters. I seem to recall reading that it took people in this country a long time to identify as Americans, rather than, say, Virginians, and of course national identities in Europe are far older and stronger than those of the individual colonies ever were. So the opponents of the new European Constitution at least have a plausible case to make. (The Americans who hate the EU, who are mostly the same people as hate the UN, are a different matter: they seem to be terrified at the thought of there being any powerful institution in the world that Karl Rove and Rupert Murdoch can’t dominate or intimidate.)

But it never helps the credibility of one’s case to ignore the obviously powerful arguments on the other side. The EU makes intra-European war unthinkable; it makes the establishment of tyranny in any European country impossible; and (despite its current economic troubles) it has spread prosperity to its poorer members.

Creating a zone of peace, freedom, and prosperity embracing 450 million people won’t be a small accomplishment, and there seems little reason to doubt that the EU can pull it off. So if you want to argue that giving up sovereignty is too big a price to pay, be my guest; but don’t pretend that price would be paid for nothing.

Yup. That pretty much sums it up.