Traditionally, the UK has always stood aloof from continental Europe but for the times when conflict--usually war--challenged its interests.
Consider the Great War: Britain fought the rising Hun that challenged it economically as well as militarily. Once vanquished, thanks to the intervention of the US, London quickly picked up its marbles, withdrawing into the comfort of its own 'Little England'. Continental Europe was left to its own devices thank you very much.
Now, Cameron is playing the same old game with the Euro, which the UK refused to support, unless Germany and France would recognise London's special rights. Germany's Angela Merkel demurred, and France's Nicolas Sarkozy tersely remarked that the British prime minister missed the golden opportunity to keep his mouth shut.
Cameron simply wanted to protect London's parochial designs. By drawing the line in the sand, he has marginalised the UK and is hastening the decline of the UK where the sun never set on its empire, to a fourth rate power. Even his American allies have loosened the ties of their special relations, thereby multiplying the effect of diminishing the UK's role in Europe. Now, thanks to Cameron, London is a backwater, London being a financial centre notwithstanding.
The UK's austerity vise has also contribution to breaking social peace through strikes, riots, and growing impoverishment.
By upholding the banner of 'Perfidious Albion', Cameron is being crushed by his small mindedness and myopic view of Europe.