Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Monday, April 26, 2004
Q: What is Black and has a pointy head?
A: The Guardian's Europe correspondent Ian Black vented his spleen in a comment piece when he launched into the British media in general, and the Sun in particular.
?Its lurid pi?ce de r?sistance remains the Shackle Britain pamphlet, replete with enormous whoppers about being forced to surrender our UN security council seat, North Sea oil reserves and having taxes set by the commission?.
But given he admits to being intolerant on detail he gets it wrong. There are moves to share the Security Council seat, the Constitution does grant EU control of North Sea oil reserves (article III-157) -even British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has objected to that clause. And finally VAT is set by Europe and nobody in Brussels is denying that there are strong pressures to bring about tax harmonisation. He even suggests that the best place to start for an unbiased view of the EU is with the Centre for European Reform. The CER describes itself as 'pro-European but not uncritical', but a quick look at its advisory board questions the double negative. A fine list of European great and good, including former Commissioners and big beasts from the European Movement, but not a single recognised figure from the other side of the argument. So much for his self proclaimed 'honest journalism'.