MY VIEW: Can Britain sing to the tune of the EU?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 07/03/2015 - Programme Name: Eurovision - TX: 23/05/2015 - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION OR RELEASE UNTIL SAT 7TH MARCH AT 9.35PM** Electro Velvet - (C) BBC - Photographer: Sarah Dunn
WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 07/03/2015 - Programme Name: Eurovision - TX: 23/05/2015 - Episode: n/a (No. 1) - Picture Shows: **EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION OR RELEASE UNTIL SAT 7TH MARCH AT 9.35PM** Electro Velvet - (C) BBC - Photographer: Sarah Dunn
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Once again, the United Kingdom failed to bathe itself in glory at the Eurovision Song Contest, coming 24th out 27 contestants with a grand score of just five points.

Other major European countries fared little better, and in some cases, worse.

A record number of countries took part in the 60th contest which is a sign of its continuing popularity.

It has around 200 million viewers, despite having what often appears to be an outdated format with the type of songs few of us would go out and buy.

The event is also regularly surrounded by controversy and this year was no exception. It has been revealed that there have been a number of irregularities with the voting system and two juries being excluded.

On the other hand, there are people who love the contest, have parties and a thoroughly fun evening. Good for them.

The Eurovision Song Contest can be political as much as it is about entertainment and song quality. In radio interviews leading up to the event, contestants and commentators alike described the political wrangling that goes on behind the scenes and assumed, rightly or wrongly, in the voting.

I am left wondering whether this is an analogy of the European Community and the debate about whether Britain should be in or out.

There are those who think the EU in its present form has had its day. There are perhaps irregularities that need sorting out, yet there are many who still want Britain, rightly, to play a major part in the EU.

You could argue that if England wants to do better at the Eurovision Song Contest, it has to try harder.

One European leader argued this week that if we want European countries to support changes, we must do better at promoting the positives of the EU within our own country.

There is little doubt Britain’s position within the EU is a political and economical hot potato.

There are indeed huge questions to be asked and renegotiating aspects of our membership may be the right thing to do, though I am seriously worried about the view that we should repeal the Human Rights Act.

The debate about whether we are better off being in or out of the EU will rage on for months to come and analysis of the arguments are not easy to understand. However, we live in a global economy and the reality is that Britain cannot exist in isolation from Europe and the wider global economy. My prayer is whatever the final outcome, we must be careful to ensure we neither impoverish our own country nor that of our neighbours.

We need each other for people and countries to flourish.