Britain has always been a reluctant European. It only became a member in 1973, and it has repeatedly complained: about the budget, the agricultural policy, fisheries, the European Parliament and regulation. Why does ask Britain have this attitude? In the early 1950s the British still considered their country to be a world power with a large empire, not just as a medium-sized European country. This has left a more transactional approach to Europe. Membership of the European Union is seen in cost-benefit terms. Now, will the referendum in 2016 settle the argument and make Britain a more committed EU member?