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Europe is whispering a prayer for Monsieur Blair. Nothing personal, but the prospect of Hogg, Howard, Portillo and Rifkind returning for five more years is too awful to contemplate. There is only one worse nightmare: that Tony Blair turns out just like John Major, a nice man with good intentions blown away by events.

Europe craves for a strongman in Britain. Someone who can take a decision and stick to it for longer than a week. That is why Delors, Kohl and Mitterrand had a love-hate relationship with Margaret Thatcher. They knew where she stood even if they disagreed with…

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