Letter: Euro specifics

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The Independent Online
IF HE did not so completely misunderstand his opponents' case, Charles Kennedy would probably find his Euro-enthusiasm easier to communicate . He both underestimates sceptics' potential to be constructive and overestimates the extent to which they can be pacified by the promise of an influence over others in Europe that they do not seek.

Most Eurosceptics under 35 are highly specific in their scepticism. It is scepticism about, first, whether British citizens' overall interests (including, but not limited to, economic and economics-dependent interests) will be best served by further integration; and, second, whether the interests of Europe's peoples (rather than politicians and elite businessmen) can be best served by further integration prior to wholesale reform in Brussels.

Amusing though Mr Kennedy's caricature of a different generation's scepticism is, Brussels-sceptics born in the 1960s and 1970s are not interested in reliving the Second World War; we like European people, and have business, personal and social dealings with them week in, week out; we enjoy European music, food, literature and so on; and we have no strong feelings about the pound per se. What we are sceptical about is the potential for mischief inherent in a particular political and bureaucratic system.


University of Sussex