Richard North, 09/10/2004  

Health commissioner designate Markos Kyprianou, the Cypriot commissioner, has told MEPs at his confirmation hearing that he wants a Europe-wide smoking ban on smoking in public places in five years - along the lines of Ireland's recent outlawing of the habit in pubs, clubs and workplaces.

"European citizens merit full protection from smoking, especially in the workplace and other public spaces", he said, adding that such a move "will of course have to be founded on a dialogue and consensus on a national and European level."

Is that what we expected in 1975 when the nation voted in favour of staying in the Common Market?

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