But even by the abysmal standards of the Euro debate in Britain, last week's performance was poor. On the one hand the prime minister, flanked by two Tory grandees, tried to make the case for European integration without mentioning the single currency. At the other extreme, the Conservatives capped the low farce of their Blackpool end-of-the-pier show by coming out 'fighting for the pound'. Nowhere in all the hype were any of the real issues raised. Nobody, it seemed, wanted to face the facts, preferring instead to fudge awkward questions or wrap themselves in the flag. Both sides should be ashamed of themselves. The Tories are behaving as if Britain enjoyed a degree of sovereignty over domestic economic policy which no government since the war has really possessed. The anniversary of Black Wednesday ought to be enough to remind them that no party can defy the markets. But the government carries an even heavier burden. It is allowing the whole tenor of the debate to be set by economically illiterate ranting. If Tony Blair really believes that Britain's future lies in Europe he should come out fighting, with the facts, and raise the debate above its present brutish level.
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