This morning a pro EU person was allowed uninterrupted airtime on the Today programme to tell us France and Germany have fallen out so now is a great moment for the UK to have influence. He went on to dismiss the positions of the smaller member states and the olive belt countries as so many pro EU people do.
He may be right. The question is, what if anything does the UK wish to influence? There are two things that could help us and the EU and would make a difference.
The first is to preach a simple doctrine, that at a time when member states are having to make large cuts in their own spending, they should expect the EU to make larger percentage cuts in its budget, as EU spending is less important than core national spending.
The second is to explain that the European econmomies are performing badly. We need more private sector led growth to tackle the deficits and create greater prosperity. The EU should make its contribution by cutting the regulatory costs it imposes with a substantial dose of deregulation.
Arguing such a case would make the British government a good European in a way which most sensible UK Eurosceptics could welcome.