Parliament: Europe: Blair in `plot to sell out UK' at summit

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The Independent Online
TONY BLAIR was last night accused of being ready to sell out British interests "by stealth" in EU moves towards the integration of taxes in Europe.

Ahead of the EU summit in Helsinki, John Maples, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, increased pressure on Mr Blair over EU demands for a withholding tax on investments, which threaten up to 10,000 jobs in the City of London.

Mr Maples claimed that Mr Blair wanted to go along with the "integrationist agenda" and was "plotting to sell us out by stealth in Europe - he's going to Helsinki this weekend to conceded British interests and to bring his dream of a European superstate ever closer."

Downing Street dismissed reports that Britain's EU partners were seeking to declare the withholding tax a single market issue to sidestep Britain's power of veto.

The Labour Party last night denied a report in the Daily Mail claiming that the Chancellor was so enraged at the attempt to impose the withholding tax on Britain that he had ordered a retreat from Britain's plans to enter the single currency if the conditions were right.