Richard North, 26/08/2015  
 

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It was Matthew Sinclair who claimed of his own piece in the Telegraph yesterday that it had been co-authored with Andrew Lilico, both of them currently working for the consultancy Europe Economics.

In what was a contentious piece, however, it would have been helpful if they had revealed that both the European Commission and the European Parliament are major clients of their company, with significant input from Andrew Lilico. And such is the extent of the work that billing over the years must amount to several hundred thousand pounds.

This pair, therefore, are not dispassionate observers of the EU political scene and cannot be relied upon for useful analysis, more so when they failed to disclose their employer's financial links with the EU. That amounts to sharp practice, especially when Sinclair tells us that he always feels "more eurosceptic" when he goes to Brussels (to meet his company's paymasters).

But this is a man who appears to be unaware of the evidence which points to the evolution of his "large non-euro bloc" into a form of associate membership and when pointed in the right direction is unable to understand what he is given.

These sort of people are very helpful to the establishment – presentable, oozing prestige and apparently knowing. They have just enough credentials to pass themselves off as "eurosceptic", while pursuing a line which will lock us further into the EU than any dozen committed Europhiles. Small wonder they are destined for high office.

Yet, as we see from George Osborne's latest jolly – this one in Finland – the idea of "associate membership", the words that Sinclair dare not utter, are not so very far from the thoughts of the Chancellor.

Osborne, however, is equally reluctant to use the revealing words, using relying on the common euphemism of a "two-tier Europe" - which means exactly the same thing. It will, he is telling us, "will protect British taxpayers and the City of London from decisions made to save the Eurozone" - precisely the role envisaged by Andrew Duff when he was preparing for the expected convention is 2015.

All that is happening at the moment is that we are going through absurd posturing, as Mr Osborne plays out his silly games, pretending that he is somehow in control of events.

Mr Osborne is thus carrying out a series of media interviews in the capital cities of Finland, Sweden and Denmark, building on pre-ordained idea of associate members comprising the non-eurozone members (which could even include some which drop out of the euro). And all this is supposed to be to the benefit of the new breed of "second-class citizens".

Meanwhile, the Europhile Financial Times talks up the non-existent gains in the manner of glowing reports on Soviet tractor production statistics. But we do get that "relationship" word again, as in: "Mr Osborne is winning Nordic backing for Britain’s drive to reform its relationship with the EU".

That's what this is all about: "relationships". We'll be sick to the hind teeth of the word by the time this referendum is over. But if Mr Cameron and his de facto deputy, Mr Osborne, have their way, the result of all this frenzied relationship-building will be an associate membership, under the guise of a new and better relationship with the rest of the EU..

That means the real agenda, as always, is being obscured. Ignored by the British media, the Germans still go on planning their Kerneuropa as their version of a "first class EU".

And poor little Matthew Sinclair won't even realise it is happening. To him, we'll be in a "large non-euro bloc", and Britain will be leading it. All will be well with the world, and it will never occur to him or his ilk that we're still in the EU on much the same terms as before.






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