The Europe Debate: THE NAY-SAYERS: IN LUXEMBOURG, BERLIN AND PARIS, MIN ISTERS WERE DECLARING NO TO MEASURES ON RACE, DEFENCE, SINGLE CURRENCY AND COUN TER-TERRORISM

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NO Douglas Hogg, speaking in Luxembourg, about the beef ban: "Public health has always been our priority and always will be. We are clear and relentless in our policy objective of keeping beef safe to eat. There is no scientific evidence that there is a risk from beef. That is why the EU's export ban is unjustified and should be lifted."

NO Eric Forth after vetoing a resolution in Luxembourg designating 1997 as the European Year Against Racism. "It should be noted that from the outset we made clear our support for the aims of the Year . . . we have been working hard with our partners to address these concerns and these negotiations have resulted in a text which is now acceptable to us."

NO Michael Portillo, in a speech in Paris on European defence: "Decisions to send sevicemen and women to risk their lives are for national governments, accountable to national parliaments. They are not matters for decision in the European Union. Britain's approach is rooted in that conviction."

NO Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, in London said: "I don't think any of [the proposals] are earth-shaking... but they are useful measures, many of which we broadly support, but which we are not going to allow to proceed." The extent of the damage, h e said, depends on how quickly matters can be resolved.

NO Malcolm Rifkind, the Foreign Secretary, gave his views in Berlin on plans to give Europe more military muscle: "Europe thought it could somehow rival Nato ... Nato continues to be the only credible force when it come to combat operations or operations of any scale."

NO Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is, together with Eric Forth, the employment minister, spearheading an intensified veto campaign by blocking a series of eight measures in separate European Council meetings: "I indicated how we will pro ceed until the ban is lifted," Mr Clarke said in Luxembourg.

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