Sleepwalking into the Superstate
A EUROPEAN 'economic government' with powers to dictate taxes, wages and working conditions; a European constitution; increased continent-wide powers for the police in a EU 'judicial area' . . . Welcome to the Europe that French Premier Lionel Jospin envisages, and intends fighting for.
No wonder Mr Blair's official spokesman Alastair Campbell (the real deputy Prime Minister) decided yesterday to tell political correspondents that Labour is heading for a landslide on June 7.
He doubtless hoped that reports of this smug assumption of the voters' intentions would overshadow M. Jospin's inconvenient presentation of his ambitions for Europe.
It has been suggested that M. Jospin's vision of Europe is at odds with the blueprints unveiled by President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. He is supposedly cool about their wish for a federal Europe and favours a 'federation of nation states'.
But this is a distinction without a difference. In practical terms, the end result of all their plans would be a Europe ruled from and by Brussels.
And as he showed yesterday, when claiming the argument against tax harmonisation had been won, Mr Blair is highly embarrassed whenever his friends on the Continent come clean about their centralising agenda for the EU. Similarly, Ministers are put out when the costs to Britain of embracing the euro are revealed.
According to independent and highly respected City accountants Chantrey Vellacott DFK, it will cost [pound]36billion to scrap the pound. Imagine it. That's the equivalent to the cost of a new Millennium Dome every month for three years.
At Labour's press conference yesterday, Gordon Brown tried to dismiss this figure as 'not worth the paper it is written on'. …