The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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The European Union's anti-Americanism and the EU's latest grab for power

Britain must make a choice: Europe or America / more government or less

The Rt Hon. John Redwood MP

The EU is distancing itself more and more from the USA, and finding more and more issues where it can disagree. The steel row is the latest twist in a series of trade disputes over bananas, rum, hush kits, planes, beef and genetically modified food. The EU's dislike of the coalition against the axis of evil, the war on terrorism, is tangible. The EU is keen to establish its own military presence as a counter-weight more than as a buttress to the western alliance, but so far its ambition has far outrun its willingness to pay for the necessary men and materials.

The UK needs to be friends and a good trading partner of both the EU and the USA. The Prime Minister builds his bridges with the President, only to be dragged in the other direction at each European summit. He is unable to resist the relentless pressure towards more and more central control from Brussels, and more and more enthusiasm on the continent for a foreign policy, a trade policy and military policy which is at variance with the stance of the USA.

The EU has used the opportunity created by the terrible events of September 11th at the World Trade Centre to press for a much bigger role of the EU in criminal law and security matters. It is using the possible extension of the Union to the east to demand far more majority voting and centralising measures on a substantial scale. It is using the Euro as a reason to forge ahead with an agenda for more common taxation and centralised economic management.

Far from the EU coming the UK's way, it is still moving in the direction of ever more government from the centre, and ever more regulation. Far from the UK being central to the EU's development, the UK is now under pressure to catch up with the EU's centralising agenda, and distance herself as well from the USA. No good will come of the growing disagreements between the EU and the USA. The UK will be more and more exposed, the more her two main allies and trading partners fall out. The government just seems to look on bemused, unsure how to proceed, powerless to bring them together.