Letter: Brown economy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: By saying that he would like Britain to join the single currency if it appears to him likely to be in Britain's economic interests to do so, Peter Mandelson has exposed the real polarity on Europe, which is between those who would - for money - give up their own and their children's freedom to a regime they did not elect and those who would not.

Some people will happily live under any regime if they are well-fed, while others will risk appearing "unmodern" or unsophisticated to business elites in order to have a greater say over their country's future.

Such a choice cannot be reduced to short-term economics and involves questions that the lawyers and accountants in government are perhaps, by temperament and training, ill-equipped to tackle.

But it is surely absurd to say that we were wrong to deprive other nations of their freedom in our colonial past while also saying that our present freedom, unlike theirs, counts for nothing - or at most a few ecus.

If we cede sovereignty to Brussels and that regime, however well-intentioned, serves our interests less well than we could serve them ourselves, our grandchildren will not forgive us.

HEON STEVENSON

University of Sussex

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