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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, December 06, 2004

Honesty is not the Best Policy

Denis MacShane, Britain's minister for Europe has landed himself in hot water for the crime of being honest about his views on Europe. In a talk to students at Durham University he included the following controversial ideas.

  • Chancellor Gordon Brown's five economic tests for joining the single European currency are a giant red herring.
  • The European Union Constitution won't be the last word in the Brussel's integration project
  • The idea of sovereign foreign policies held by member states over crucial issues affecting Europe was one that did not fit with his view of the EU future.
These words are of course music to the ears of Euro sceptics everywhere as they give lie to the official version of the Governments policy on the EU. If the Government’s own spokesman on Europe is saying that the constitution is not the last word, how can we believe the official party line. This makes selling the notion of the treaty as a step towards a federal state much easier. He is of course correct about the five tests, as the Euro is a political not an economic project, but the tests were devised to obscure that. Admitting it is not the best way to convince a skeptical public. As for the idea of different policies on issues effecting Europe, all issues potentially effect Europe, so there is no end to where that could lead. In a typical piece of Eurospeak, he goes on to say: But if Britain says no to Europe in the political decisions we'll have to take in the next few months, then I think that will be a dark moment in British history. If disagreeing to a particular treaty, and a very bad one at that, is saying no to Europe, then I think most of us will want to say no. Its funny how disagreement with one view of European Integration is always spoken of in such apocalyptic terms. If we insist on working more than 48 hours per week or refuse to pay sugar farmers three times the world price for their products, then Germany will invade France. Is that what we want?

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