Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Straw dogs

So Mr Jack Straw writes in today's Telegraph that "it is a gross exaggeration to portray the EU as a state with its own executive, legislature, judiciary, police, civil service, currency, central bank, taxes, army, foreign minister, embassies and flag".

But it has its own executive, its own legislature, its own judiciary, its proto-police force in "Europol", its own civil service, its own currency and central bank.

True, it does not yet levy its own taxes directly on citizens of member states - it requires the member states to collect them. It does not yet have an army, although it does have its rapid reaction force, it has a "high representative" who acts as the EU's foreign minister, and it does have its own embassies and flag.

Just which bit is the gross exaggeration, Mr Straw?

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