The Telegraph has an editorial, “Britain belongs in the English-speaking world,” which is right on the money. It notes Mr. Blair’s ongoing commitment to the Anglo-American effort in Iraq, in defiance of any narrow political calculation. It notes also that, on its European flank, despite Mr. Blair’s best efforts, “Britain finds itself in its traditional position within the EU: isolated and resented.” It then raises the over-arching question: “Mr Blair faces the same dilemma as each of his predecessors since Churchill: is Britain to be part of a European bloc, or are we to retain our links to the wider English-speaking world? Are we a continental power or a maritime one?” Mr. Blair, however, can no longer have it both ways. The Europeans are, reasonably enough, going to demand a yes or no answer to whether Britain is going to be part of a much more integrated, unitary European entity.
The Telegraph then opines:
The view of this newspaper is that Britain’s place is in the wider community of free, English-speaking peoples – the “Anglosphere”, to use the current buzzword. But it is worth pausing to note that we are perfectly capable of acting independently of both Washington and Brussels. The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest economy in the world, the fourth military power, one of five permanent members of the Security Council and a member of the G8. … The case for the Atlantic alliance is simple. More often than not, our interests and the Americans’ coincide. Like them, we have an interest in stability and free trade among nations. This makes us especially hostile to local bullies and ready, if necessary, to deploy proportionate force against them. … We are not bound together just by sentiment and history, though such things matter, but also by a genuine community of identity as societies that place a special value on individual liberty and the rule of law. … [T]he majority of British people still feel a special affinity with the states touched by our colonising and enterprising energies, where common law and Westminster-style democracy prevail.
I hope this is correct. I hope the British reject the EU Constitution. And I hope the American government will take advantage of this opportunity to offer to strengthen the political, economic and military ties between our two countries. It would be best if the British people had an affirmative alternative to “Europe” in prospect, to strengthen their resolution to vote against becoming a province of a European Reich, a fate they have avoided through heroic effort for hundreds of years.