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Now EU is blamed for making the air smell

Investigators attempting to trace the source of a foul smell hanging over southern England pointed an accusatory finger across the Channel yesterday.

In a development to set the hearts of Eurosceptics aflutter, it emerged that the nauseating stench may have emanated from the Brussels region.

Labelled the "Euro-whiff" by the Met Office, it was likened to a combination of sulphur and manure and left residents of London, Kent, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and East Anglia grimacing with disgust. Sensitive noses as far west as Devon were affronted.

The Met Office, which received countless calls about the odour, said the matter was under investigation. Staff believed the likely explanation was agricultural or industrial works' smells swept over from north-west Europe by strong easterly winds. Normally, Britain's winds are westerly, coming off the Atlantic Ocean, and carry little or no pollution.