Europe helped end Margaret Thatcher’s career, and the issue made John Major’s life a misery in Number 10.
Labour also found that Europe was a divisive issue. Tony Blair wanted to take the UK into the single currency, but was blocked from calling a referendum by his Chancellor, Gordon Brown.
One day, perhaps, history will recognise Mr Brown’s achievement in saving the British economy from the euro nightmare.
Now, David Cameron is coming under pressure to hold a referendum on quitting the EU. MPs may, at the very least, debate the issue, all thanks to the hard work of West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire. The EU is its own worst enemy. It was designed as a free trade organisation, but officials and many MEPs seem to take delight in expanding its powers. No wonder many people – not just in the UK – loathe it.
But storming out isn’t the answer. Britain is still a trading nation, and cutting off the Continent wouldn’t help the businesses that generate jobs, wealth and taxes in this country.
A struggle it may be, but our best hope is to stick with the EU and attempt to steer it towards common sense.
Still, the case for leaving entirely must be heard – Ms Sinclaire has seen to that.