Re: From the outside looking in
The EU started out as a way of attempting to avoid the widescale famine that happened post WW2
It would be more correct to say that the Common Market started out that way, as a level playing field to give European nations a chance to build a sound economic future based on mutual prosperity. Although it had flaws it worked pretty well, and has indeed contributed to the lack of European conflict.
The European Union, on the other hand, did not come about from any genuine need, it's purely a product of politicians' vanity. The single curerncy has seriously damaged the competitivity of many EU countries apart from Germany, and the centralized fiscal and political control inherent in the concept of an EU is raising unpleasant thoughts of past conflicts to "unite Europe". That, in turn, is feeding the left- and right-wing populist and nationalist parties in France, Greece, Austria, the UK and others.
I am genuinely worried that the refusal of EU politicians to accept the flaws in the EU is now pushing Europe closer to, not away from, internal conflict. Sooner or later there will be another "Greek crisis" and the single currency will fall apart. When (not if) that happens the EU will start to fall apart, and those countries which are still members will bear the brunt of it.
Recent surveys have shown that even europhile countries like France have >50% of the population who want a Brexit-style referendum, and upward of 40% would vote to leave. No political entity can survive that level of internal division on such a fundamental question as its existence. If the EU politicians won't recognise that, and take steps to address it, it may well be better to accept the pain of an early departure in order to avoid the disaster of being sucked into the inevitable crash & burn.