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The legend of King Canute describes how an early Anglo-Saxon king showed his subjects the limits of royal power.In making these decisions, European leaders must answer two questions: Should Britain keep the main benefits of EU membership if it rejects EU rules and institutions? And should some of these rules and institutions be reformed to make the EU more attractive to voters, not just in Britain but throughout Europe.EU leaders should present a clear choice: either Britain remains an EU member after negotiating some additional reforms to satisfy public opinion; or it disengages completely and deals with the EU on the same basis as "any country in the World Trade Organization, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe," which is how Britain's Institute for Fiscal Studies describes the most plausible alternative to full membership.Imagine, finally, that the EU acknowledged that centralization of power has gone too far and formally ended the drive for "ever closer union".
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