Letter: Britain in Europe

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The Independent Online
Sir: Lord Howe and his co-signatories mention in glowing terms the main activities of the European Union. They also commend to us economic and monetary union.

It is inconceivable that a letter of this sort could have been written by politicians of equivalent standing on the other side of the Channel. Everywhere, at all times, and especially on anniversaries such as this, continental politicians lay great stress on the ideals of the EU's founders and the onward march of their own nation, together with other member states, towards political union.

Twenty-five years ago, Edward Heath dared not raise such an aim to the masthead of his accession venture. And today, Lord Howe and his friends have also exercised discretion on this point. When addressing their own electorate, it is not prudent for British politicians - no matter how Europhile - to highlight the central aim of the EU. On the Continent, all those who support economic and monetary union openly declare that they do so because it will lead to closer political union. Britain cannot remain silent on this point and aspire to be at the heart of Europe.


Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire