UK Dopers - Part of Europe?

I was recently talking with an online friend from the UK. He said that I shouldn’t refer to people from the UK (United Kingdomers? UKians?) as European, as the UK considers itself seperate, especially politically.

This struck me as downright bizzare, especially considering the euro and the fact that England’s history is mired in that of the ‘continent.’ So… UK dopers, do you consider yourselves European? Do you think the UK should be referred to seperately from Europe? Have you ever met someone who does think this?

Confused Americans want to know…

Legend has it that the (London) Times once ran the headline “Fog in Channel; Continent cut off”, so that attitude certainly does exist, and the British often use the term “Europe” when they mean “continental Europe”. But I think most Britons consider themselves European, albeit reluctantly in some cases. What else would we be?

It’s not clear from your OP whether you are aware that Britain has not adopted the euro. There are certainly some people who would like us to withdraw from the European Union, but they are in the minority. No major political party supports withdrawal, though there are a few Tories and the odd Labourite who do.

Ah, I had added something about the euro and the European Union, but ended up losing the comment in editing. Yes, that was part of why I thought it was so odd to claim that.

The British are European when it suits them; usually, when described in opposition to something American that they dislike, or when talking about the artistic and cultural history of “Europe”. As soon as Europe refers to a political or economic entity it doesn’t quite stick.

I think of myself as British first, European second, if pressed, but I don’t know if that’s a common view across the wider general public.

I think of myself as about as european as the average Canadian thinks of themselves as American.
As for the EU, whilst I would not advocate total withdrawal, I would not like to see the legal and monetary ststem of this country become any more entwined with the beaurocracy of the EU than it already is.

Yeah, it’s dumb, but it happens a lot. While there is a minority that does not consider itself European, most people are just using “Europe” when they mean “the Continent”. Happens in Ireland too.

Also Scots, Welsh and N Irish tend to be more pro-European in opposition to something English they don’t like (Northern Ireland of course is a special case - the border looks less of a daunting problem as an internal European border rather than a national border)

In my experience other Europeans are just as ambivalent in their “European-ness”. Someone from southern Spain, say, will feel a connection with someone in southern France or Italy - but have absolutely nothing in common with a German

It is certainly very common to use “Europe” to mean continental Europe, and a lot of people would not call themselves “European”. They wouldn’t deny being European, but would rarely, if ever, use the terms themselves.

I confess to using the term somewhat like Crusoe describes; if I am expressing a difference from the American norm, I will sometimes use “European” to emphasize that the difference applies to a whole continent, not just the UK.

You would think this alright, but it’s not necessarily true in all cases. Sinn Féin and the other Irish republican parties are actually more eurosceptic than the less fervently nationalistic Irish parties - because they’re nationalists, and no more want Ireland to be controlled by Brussels than by London. I believe the parallel is true for the Scottish nationalist parties, although I’m not terribly well versed on their policies.

(There’s also the fact that these parties tend to be quite leftwing and the further left you go the less support there is for a strong EU.)

I think the SNP’s official position is “Independance within Europe”. Doesn’t make a whole lotta sense but that’s the SNP for ya.

In my experience People in Scotland are generally more receptive to Europe and the EU than the English. I would suggest that’s because the Scots tend to be further to the left and closer to European values of Social democracy but I could be wrong.

Ah yes, The SNP is the Scotish National Party.

It might have something to do do with the “Auld Alliance” between Scots and French against the perfidious Albion.

I’ve just had a look at the SNP website and it doesn’t really say much about their views on the EU. It does come out in favour of the euro, however, which Sinn Féin are firmly against.

The website of the Scottish Socialist Party (which is also nationalist, republican and quite a bit further left than the SNP) says that it will stand up to “Washington, London and Brussels”, but I can’t find anything else about Europe on it. It’s a poorly organised site though, so I might just be missing it.

Yeah that sounds about right Ruadh. I should point to our American viewers that the SNP are a considerable more sizeable party than The SSP.

The SSP have the tradational antagonism of the British far left to the EU. I wouldn’t say it’s among their core beliefs though. If they formed a coalition Govt. with the SNP they’d probably be willing to accept the Euro in exchange of other concessions.

Capt B. Phart, yep there’s certainly a bit of the old “anyone the English hate is okay with us” attitude.

I can cope with being European … historically, we’re undoubtedly part of the European continent … we may distance ourselves from it culturally, but no more so than, say, the Germans distance themselves from the French.

I think the current “anti-European” stance of some English people has a lot more to do with the (perceived (and in some cases real)) vices of the European Community, rather than any overall “anti-foreigner” sentiment. Not that English people are less “anti-foreigner” than any other nationality …

Nope, we’re not European. We’ve spent the past thousand years fighting in Europe: firstly the Norman conquest, then the erosion of British/Norman lands in France (ending with Queen Mary), then naval battles for supremacy of the oceans, then there were the Napoleonic wars, and lastly the two little shindigs in the last century. We’re not American, either. We’re British.

Well, I hadn’t thought you were American, ‘51st state’ rumors aside, but thanks for the clarification anyway, qts. :smiley:

And thanks to everyone who’s responded! I’ll be a little more careful about how I use the word “European” to describe people in the future.

A bold statement, which begs the question: Who’s ‘WE’?

“We”'s me’n’qts. :smiley:

I’m Scottish and consider myself Scottish first then British.
I am NOT European. I consider Europeans to be people from the continent, not us.
I would much rather Britain becomes the 51st of the USA than become part of a federal europe.