Letter: As others see us
Thursday 17 June 1999
Sir: My only question to the British people after the European elections is, what on earth are you doing in the European Union? It would be more dignified to leave the EU than to stay in, kicking and screaming about every rule or initiative that is not to your liking.
Members are supposed to be in the EU for the best interest of Europe, not for their own advantage. Sadly, Britain is not ashamed to assert that it is precisely because of its own interest that it is a member. It must be some kind of miracle that other member states do not consider expelling Britain.
I have been living in London for the past 10 years and, with my foreign eyes, I can see what Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown cannot or do not want to see: Britain is not in Europe and British people are not and will never be European.
British ignorance about the Continent is breathtaking. Nearly everyone believes that Switzerland is an EU member and the Costa del Sol is where geographic knowledge stops most of the time. Europe is somewhere to holiday and send in troops from time to time.
You just do not want to be in the EU. I am convinced that you'll never join the single currency. Eventually you'll leave the Union when further integration becomes too much to stomach.
Your country is greatly admired and respected on the Continent. In my country we think you are reliable and honest folk one can do business with. The problem is, my British friends, that you do not wish to do business with us.
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