Letter: Euro specifics

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The Independent Online
ON 27 JUNE Charles Kennedy ("It is the pro-Europeans who are the real patriots") includes a few facts in his pro-Euro argument. This is refreshingly unfamiliar in such rhetoric. His use of invective ("near- paranoid") is sadly more familiar, although he at least avoids Tony Blair's favourite new word, "europhobic". If he wishes to influence the opinion of the majority of our electorate, he must stop calling it names.

Other bad habits beloved of Mr Blair, Paddy Ashdown and most others of their persuasion should also be avoided. These include telling lies, as in "most of our trade is with other EU members".

Reality of the federal agenda is therefore denied, and it is pretended that leaders of, for example, the TUC and CBI represent the views of most of their members, and omitting altogether awkward topics such as the EU enlargement project.

Kennedy is also guilty of empty assertions, such as the popular one about Britain exerting "a real influence in Europe" by joining the EMU. Influence on whom, for what and by what means are obvious questions which he, as usual, fails to address. Britain's "influence" amounts to 10 votes out of 87 in the Council of Ministers and it will inevitably diminish as EU membership is enlarged at huge cost to British taxpayers.

M J KNIGHT

Langley, Berkshire

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