The same old song

It was nice to see the line-up of the anti-euro establishment in your special supplement ("The Good European's case against the euro", 17 May). They are singing the age-old song: "Keep Britain at a Sensible Distance from the Continentals".

Its first line is "We like Europe, but . . . " The second line changes over the years. "We like Europe but we don't want the supranational Coal and Steel Commonwealth" (1950s). "We like Europe but we prefer the Commonwealth" (1960s). "We like Europe but we hate the Common Agricultural Policy" (1970s). "We like Europe but we don't want to be run by Delors" (1980s).

"We like Europe but we don't want the Social Chapter" (Tories) or "we reject the European Central Bank" (soft-left Labour) (1990s).

Now Lord Owen and Lord Healey are sinking their differences and, jointly with the Institute of Directors, are proclaiming that the slogan for the first decade of the next century is: "We like Europe but we don't want the euro."

Peter Smart
London NW5

This article first appeared in Luvvies, stop moaning

1999-05-24