The age of the nation state is over and the idea that countries can stand alone is an ‘illusion’ and a ‘lie’, the EU president believes.
In one of the most open proclamations of the goal of a European superstate since the heyday of Jacques Delors, Herman Van Rompuy went on to denounce Eurosceptism as the greatest threat to peace.
Tory backbenchers condemned the inflammatory comments in the speech made by Mr Van Rompuy to mark the 21st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
They said it proved that David Cameron would have a battle on his hands if he is to prevent extra powers being handed to Brussels.
Last night 23 Conservative MPs, including former leadership contender David Davis, rebelled in the Commons by demanding a referendum if the Lisbon Treaty is amended – even if ministers argue the changes do not affect the UK. Their call was defeated.
Mr Van Rompuy’s speech in the German capital told his audience that ‘the time of the homogenous nation state is over’.