`Euro-Propaganda' Group Gets EU Cash; BRITISH FEDERALISTS GIVEN [Pounds Sterling]20,000 A YEAR TO PREACH CAUSE

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy

A STORM erupted last night over payments from the European Commission to a controversial British group providing pro-EU `propaganda'.

The European Movement, which backs the surrender of the pound and closer European integration, is receiving [pounds sterling]20,000 a year from Brussels.

It is spending the money on a campaign to promote the ideals of Europe to schoolchildren, businesses and even Women's Institute meetings.

The disclosure has enraged Tory Euro-sceptics who branded it `propaganda at the taxpayers' expense.'

The European Movement is the most powerful pro-federalist organ-isation in Britain. Former Premier Sir Edward Heath is its president and vice-chairmen include Tory MP Edwina Currie and Tony Blair's campaign chief Peter Mandelson.

Launched after the Second World War by Winston Churchill to promote co-operation, it expanded to operate branches in all EU countries.

During the Eighties, Baroness Thatcher was its patron and it was partly funded by the Foreign Office. But Lady Thatcher severed her links because it became overtly federalist and five years ago the Foreign Office funding was axed after pressure from Euro-sceptics. …