Letter: Europe's shame
Thursday 05 August 1999
Britain up to now has been involved in Europe but not committed to it. The British prefer expedience and improvisation rather than commitment to long-term ideals. Acceptance of the euro also requires the abandonment of a symbol of imperial greatness, namely the pound. Abandoning irrelevant symbols from the past is something else the British are not very good at.
The process of disengagement has already begun with the inability of the Government to explain the case for Britain entering EMU. The Conservatives will fight the next election on an anti-European platform and a promise not to "abandon the pound". If the opposite case is not put, the unshakeable insularity and xenophobia of the British will make this a winner for the Conservatives. Being out of the euro will further marginalise Britain in Europe, making the case for withdrawal from the EU a winning platform for the Conservatives at the following election.
There is good and bad in this: the rest of Europe will be glad to see the back of the tiresome British but the British themselves will have to find something else to blame for their manifest failures. Keen European federalists like myself, who hoped that Britain would use its latent genius and energies in shaping the new Europe will have to be content with the thought that unity will proceed more smoothly without them.
W H WHITE
South Creake, Norfolk
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Sex with robots will be ‘the norm’ in 50 years
- 5 Barack Obama turns 54: The US President's best put downs to celebrate his birthday
The Great British Bake Off, series 6, preview: The most popular show on television is back
National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015 winners in pictures
US bookshop offers Go Set A Watchman refunds over false marketing as 'nice summer novel'
Sherlock season 4: Benedict Cumberbatch will be 'a lot less brattish' in Victorian special
Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar enter Forbes’ highest paid actors list for first time
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke