From a reader:
Your latest Corner post is slightly off in that it misinterprets Churchill’s somewhat famous “United States of Europe” remark.
When Churchill said “We must build a kind of United States of Europe”, he wasn’t referring to a Europe containing Great Britain. He wanted a Europe that would tame the more reckless ambitions of Germany and France. Churchill did not want Britain to be involved in the USE (United States of Europe) save as its “friend and sponsor.” That’s why he set about creating the rather benign Council of Europe (which still exists).
Churchill reflected traditional British foreign policy of never subscribing to a permanent alliance. The United States of Europe was necessary for Europe, a group to which Great Britain, geography notwithstanding, was not a member.