As the Conservative party wrangles with backbench appeals to claw back powers from Brussels, threatening another rift within the party, there are calls for an in-out referendum on Europe.
The US administration has made plain its preference that Britain remains part of the EU and takes a leading role.
Tony Benn, who retired as a Labour MP in 2001, voted unsuccesfully against continuing membership of the European Economic Community in 1975.
He wrote in his diary that he "loathed" the EEC. Today, his views are no less emphatic.