In a century's time the world's big powers are likely to be huge states like the US, China and India. Britain alone will have little economic or political clout in a world that works on that scale - how could it? Keeping all national sovereignty at Westminster will count for little the UK is too feeble to do anything with that sovereignty.Which is pretty much my position.
By pooling sovereignty in certain areas - particularly economically - with our allies, we could make ourselves stronger: we won't always get our way, but when we do it'll count for more.
That doesn't mean that Europe as it stands is perfect; in fact, it's mainly bloody awful. The CAP; the lack of democratic legitimacy; the lack of R&D spending; the fact that several of the continent's largest economies are spluttering. All these things and plenty more need fixing.
But if Britain is to retain any influence in world affairs it will be as part of a larger block. I think it's better to make the effort to get Europe right, despite the continuing incompetence of President Chirac, rather than just accepting our fate in obscurity.
The world is globalising, and the big power blocks will dominate. Big corporations, frequently with anti-competetive practices, are beginning to be more than sub-state players. Flawed though they were, problematic theough they were, the recent trade talks in which the EU spoke as one group are a good example of how it's useful; the EU, speaking together, represents a significant chunk of the world economy; it has clout. The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
It's flawed, it needs fixing, but it's essential if we're to retain any sovereignty over our economic future.