Britain’s debate about the EU is not just about Europe – it is also about the US.For the fiercest eurosceptics – who want Britain to leave the EU – the US is the promised land across the ocean. They have long insisted that it is a mistake for Britain to tie itself to a sclerotic Europe with an alien political culture. Instead the UK should look to the English-speaking world and, above all, to its “special relationship” with America.
The anti-Europeans’ heroine is Margaret Thatcher. It was Lady Thatcher who said “no, no, no” to ever-closer union in Europe – but “yes, yes, yes” to the US of President Ronald Reagan. The picture of Ronnie and Maggie, tootling around together in a golf buggy, is a powerful, nostalgia-filled image of the “special relationship” at its warmest.