Letter: Britain and Europe: the sceptics reply

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The Independent Online
Sir: Not all opponents of EMU or the European Union advocate walking away from Europe. Indeed all such have an obligation to advertise its nature, operation, and effects. All three are supra-national; over time they will suppress any remaining genuine international element.

Lord Howe has said we should not "lock ourselves out of the debate" on EMU. Is "sign up or shut up" appropriate language within any democratic community?

Alas the rules of this unique Community-Union show that it is centralist, authoritarian and unitary - already well beyond the feared, and disclaimed, federal. Even the vaunted democracy is non-operative. Current or future electorates cannot, in practice, obtain objectives or aspire to legislation contrary to the complex terms of Union treaties or laws.

These unhappy facts must be demonstrated clearly to all our European friends. Your signatories, having approved all three treaties without mandate from people, Parliament, or even their own party cannot easily do so, or deny the constitutional truth.

Let us applaud the risks that some of them, and others of their generation, took to obtain pan-European freedom in the war of 1939-45. At the same time we must deplore and unmask the fallacies of their adopted means of ensuring peace and concord into the 21st century. Unfortunately its effects are more likely to impede, or even destroy, the attainment of its highly advertised purposes.

NIGEL SPEARING MP

(Newham South, Lab)

House of Commons

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