A celebrated call by Winston Churchill for the creation of a "United States of Europe" was revived on Monday by a leading member of the European commission who said the 18 eurozone countries should form a full fiscal and political union.
Viviane Reding, a vice-president of the commission, told Cambridge University's law faculty that "bold reforms" were needed to avoid tensions across Europe as new governance arrangements were introduced to stabilise the single currency.
Delivering the Mackenzie Stuart Lecture, named after the first British judge to serve as president of the European court of justice, the European justice commissioner endorsed Churchill's view in a famous speech in Zurich in 1946 that Britain should remain apart from the United States of Europe.
Reding said: "There is a strong case for a true fiscal and ultimately political union. In my personal view, the eurozone should become the United States of Europe. Like Winston Churchill, I believe that the UK will not be part of this, but it should remain a close ally with the federated eurozone, with which it would continue to share a common market, a common trade policy and hopefully a common security agenda."