Wednesday, March 05, 2003

This is interesting. (Note: if you download it it might be necessary to change the filetype to .pdf to open it, and you'll need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it).

Its impressive claim is to debunk 201 Eurosceptic myths. They're not always very effectively disproved as it's trying to do it too rapidly and the footnotes are often fairly vague, but worth a flick through nonetheless.

However, a few here bother me, as my old Euroscepticism surfaces again. For example, number 16 is the myth that decimalisation was forced on Britain by Europe. The response is that the Decimal Currency Act was passed in 1969, before we joined the EEC, and before the Heath government that took us in came to power. But what about the 1961 application to sign the Treaty of Rome by the Macmillan government? This initiated a decade of attempts to get closer to Europe as the realisation slowly dawned that, post-Suez, Britain was no longer the power she once was. I'm pretty certain it could be argued quite effectively that decimalisation was at least partially an attempt to curry favour with Europe in preparation for future applications for membership. Similar arguments appear for numer 18, about metric measures, which were introduced with the 1963 Weights and Measures Act - again after Britain's first application for membership.

If we're going to argue against anti-European myths we really ought to do it without leaving any openings for counter-arguments. I may add more about things from this document later - have a flick through though, it's quite funny to see some of the things that have been claimed about the EU's meddling ways...

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