The Europe Debate: Howard sacrifices law and order

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The Independent Online
Michael Howard today places his Eurosceptic credentials above those of law and order when he blocks measures to counter terrorism, drugs, fraud and corruption as part of the protest at the European Union beef ban.

Yesterday the Home Secretary conceded that the measures - which also include his other bete noire, illegal immigration - were "useful" but denied he was cutting off his nose to spite his face.

Even though some proposals could be delayed until October by the Government's stance, Mr Howard maintained that non-co-operation was the only way to get other member-states to realise the beef question was of "immense proportions".

To head off criticism that he was sacrificing sensible measures, he claimed other governments had reservations about some and might anyway have rejected them. "I don't think any of them are earth-shaking in their significance but they are useful measures, many of which we broadly support, but which we are not going to allow to proceed."