In a fascinating excerpt from L’Apocalpse de Notre Temps, by Henri Rollin (no relation I am sure), the Transatlantic Intelligencer brings us this. The setting is a boat of Norway, the date is July 1901, and the speaker is Kaiser Wilhelm II, Kaiser Bill himself,
"The Americans: a vital question for the future of Europe and the world…. It takes precedence over all other questions and leaves all merely European disagreements in the shadows. Their [“the Americans”] meddling in European affairs is closer than one generally thinks. The idea of a European Zollverein [customs union] will become indispensable. The sooner the better. Every question or problem of a European power vis-à-vis the United States becomes a European question, a European problem, a European matter of interest. Thus, it will be necessary that the attitude of England becomes clear and explicit. England will have to choose sides…"
Another at the table confirmed this,
"The need to form in the future a European Zollverein, a “customs league” against the United States…, in order to safeguard the interests and guarantee the liberty of the commerce of the continent to the detriment of the development of America…. In such a case, England would be required without delay to choose between two clearly opposed policies: either adhere to the bloc and place itself on the side of Europe against the United States or come to an understanding with the latter against the continental powers".
No I know it seems a bit redundent to point this out, but I think that it bears repeating that the answer to that question is pretty clear, twice in the last hundred years. But of course just like the Constinentals and their response to referenda answers, we are being asked the question again. I hope and pray that we stick to our previous answer, for our good, and the good of the world.
I think William Pitt said it,
"Let us hope that England, having saved herself by her energy, may save Europe by her example".