Letter: Which Europe?

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The letter from the officers of the European Movement (30 November) on the vexed EMU question advances our knowledge or enlightenment not a jot. The same applies to letters from Eurosceptics - the same old arguments from the same sources who have been sounding off for years. Surely the position is this:

The most stupid question one can ask today is: "Are you for or against Europe?" It is like asking: "Are you for or against the Atlantic?" There are just two queries that have to be addressed. The first is: "What kind of Europe?"

For years arguments have raged as to where exactly Europe, in the meaning of the EU, is really heading. Successive leaders have pleaded that we did not know enough and therefore could not decide. Following the multiple statements of last week this question has surely been answered clearly, decisively and finally, as fog disappearing before a stiff breeze. The EU is heading towards a single, highly centralised, fully integrated Federal Republic of Europe. No more talk of a "Europe of Nations" or De Gaulle's old Union des Patries please. We now know exactly what is in prospect and it is not going to change, whatever Britain's hopeful suasions.

The second question is therefore: "What in the view of a clear majority of the British people should be our relationship with that Europe over the decades to come?" And here the Rubicon is the abolition of the pound under EMU. Mr Major delayed for five years, Mr Blair wants another five and Mr Hague ten. The choice is clear, and there is no need for further delay. It is either full-fledged, no-holds-barred and enthusiastic absorption or a freshly negotiated sovereignty-based trading relationship.

It is not the decision that is causing ravages to our unity and national morale; it is the endless indecisiveness.

FREDERICK FORSYTH

Hertford

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