ELSAH, Ill. (AP) _ The old colonies across the Atlantic are looking downright brotherly to Margaret Thatcher, compared with the prospect of a more unified Europe.

Great Britain is ``much more akin to the United States than to any of the countries of Europe,'' the former British prime minister said during a visit to Principia College on Saturday.

Thatcher has long opposed joining the European Community. Tony Blair, the current prime minister, supports the move.

``This means you have to surrender your independence as a nation. Any nation that does it doesn't deserve its name,'' she said.

Britain would be better off maintaining a British-American alliance and staying away from the rest of Europe, she said.