As the horrors of the shootings of the British holiday-makers in Tunisia unfolded over the weekend it is worth reminding ourselves that for many of the younger generations in modern Britain this is a shocking introduction to the horror of close-up personal danger and bloodshed. The peace between Britain, Germany and France in central Europe for the last seventy years is the longest in history. It is a treasure beyond all value and Britain’s younger generations should never for a minute take it for granted.

Of course “the Common Market”, “Europe” and “the Euro” are clumsy, imperfect organisations. But they are the best we can cobble together and after all they are fulfilling their primary purpose of keeping the peace. To continue to follow the line David Cameron has been pursuing in recent months of not getting involved in the world outside our shores is rank stupidity.

Of course he burned his fingers intervening in Libya, and even worse by inciting rebellion in Syria. But much nearer home and present day, Europe needs Britain and Britain needs Europe, warts and all even more.

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France and Germany have been left to carry an unfair burden on the world stage in recent years while the British people and their politicians have engaged in what are little more than small-minded trivial pursuits at home.

The problems of radical Islam and mass migration from over-populated parts of the world are more than we in Britain can ever hope to deal with on our own. Against that background, for us to pretend that a “pick-and-mix” approach to our international responsibilities is feasible may seem an attractive proposition in London’s drawing rooms, but we have to understand that out in the real world it is a no-brainer.

Quite apart from the crucially important matters of trade and finance, we need the security of being whole heartedly at one with our near neighbours”in Europe” and the sooner Britain sticks in and pulls its weight in that respect the better.

Irvine Inglis