“On St. George’s Day, say goodbye to England”
(Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2008)
“Up the Pole” – Revealed: EU’s secret plot to abolish Britain
(The Sun, 23 April 2008)
“How Brussels has wiped England and the English Channel off the map”
(Daily Mail, 23 April 2008)
Revealed: EU’s secret plot to ban Britain
(Daily Express, 23 April 2008)
These articles are utterly false and have no basis in reality. Here are the facts:
This has nothing to do with drawing up administrative borders, which is something the UK is deciding on
This is nothing new:
INTERREG (European Territorial Cooperation objective since 2007) which promotes cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation has existed since 1990 when the first Community Initiative was launched (INTERREG II : 1994-1999, INTERREG III 2000-2007)
In total UK participates in 4 cross-border, 4 transnational and in all the interregional (networking) programmes (see attached country fiche).
The only new programme the UK is participating in is the quadrilateral “2 Seas” cross-border cooperation programme involving FR, UK, BE, NL which has been created in 2007 because all coastal areas in the Channel area have become eligible for cross-border cooperation.
Neither of the two cross-border cooperation programmes across the English Channel are yet officially adopted. There are e.g. no official maps of the type shown.
There are some serious errors of fact:
There are absolutely no secret plans and no goal of creating a United States of Europe. The process has been entirely transparent and has involved local politicians of all parties.
There are no transnational regional assemblies.
The name of the programme across the English Channel between UK and France will feature in both languages.
The maps indicated in the articles have not been produced by the Commission/EU.
There are absolutely no provisions that projects have to fly the EU flag at least one week every year (this is for the managing authority only).
The articles are riddled with mis-representations, such as:
The Channel programme is not “ruled” by Lille. The joint managing authority (appointed by the participating partner countries) is located there and the programme is steered by a programme monitoring committee which includes an equal share of members from the participating countries.