Richard North, 01/11/2004  

The FCO today issued a pamphlet in which it claims to present the basic facts about the EU and what it does. It also claims to also summarise the main aspects of the new Treaty to establish a Constitution for Europe.

Under the gripping title of "The Guide to the EU’, it was launched by foreign secretary Jack Straw, who tells us that, "Britain’s relationship with the European Union is a vital part of our future prosperity and security. Yet many people say they know too little about what it does and how it does it."

He hopes the guide "will answer some of the basic questions about the EU, and explain its processes."

It won’t. of course, but does so in a nice, simple way, of which Janet and John would be proud – so much so that Martin Cutts, Research Director of the Plain Language Commission, has awarded it his organisation’s "Clear English Standard mark".

Cutts says that the guide has "passed rigorous checks of clarity, grammar and layout.". However, he says nothing about truthfulness.

At 48 pages, the guide can be downloaded from the FCO site here. We will post a review as soon as time permits.

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