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January 12th, 2000

Countdown to disaster
The deadline comes next December when the leaders of the EU meet…to sign what will be arguably the most decisive European treaty yet – the one which, by giving the EU its own written constitution, will mark a last crucial step in welding ‘Europe’ into a single state.
(Daily Mail, page 12, 7 January 2000, Christopher Booker)

The superstate is on its way
The fact is Mr Prodi is determined to use the fig-leaf of “enlargement” to take the EU a further giant step towards what he calls “a single political unity”, complete with its own legal system and the rest.
(The Sunday Telegraph, page 16, 13 February 2000, Christopher Booker)

Never mind the Euro, the problem is Europe
You have to remember that the federasts have been at it since the Fifties…The endgame is to lock us in so tightly to a federal Europe that we will have nowhere else to go.
(The Sun, page 11, 1 February 2000, Richard Littlejohn)

And for his next trick…
Do you want the European Union to adopt a new constitution…Do you want to replace the English and Scottish systems of law…Do you want the virtual abolition of the British veto…Do you want British taxes to be “harmonised”…Do you want the pound to join the euro…Would you feel safer if NATO…were replaced with a European defence system?
(The Times, page 16, 10 January 2000, William Rees-Mogg)

The European Union is preparing itself for an historic new round of enlargement.  Member State governments will decide by December how to reform the EU’s institutions in order to accommodate up to thirteen new countries.
This Inter-Governmental Conference is looking at the size and composition of the Commission, the weighting of Member States’ votes and the possible extension of Qualified Majority Voting within the Council.  Other issues linked to making an enlarged Europe work better may also be added as the conference progresses.
Yet the sceptic press would have us believe that the IGC is about a European army, tax harmonisation, a European constitution and a single European judicial system.  One wonders whether these sections of the press may even be disappointed in December when their long-heralded superstate fails to materialise.
One could also be forgiven for believing that the UK is somehow outside the IGC process, victim to the whims of a fictitious “Jospin-Schröder-Prodi triple alliance”.  In fact, the British Government is one of the leading advocates of institutional reform and enlargement.  Its own White Paper on the issue describes it as a “huge opportunity” for the creation of “new markets abroad and new jobs at home”.
The real agenda may not be headline-grabbing, but scaremongering and paranoia are poor substitutes for quality journalism and informed debate.

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