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Here comes the hard sell. Fleet Street’s finest are being invited to Brussels for a crash course on Europe. The Eurosceptic press is the main target, as well as leading rightwing columnists such as Ann Leslie (Daily Mail), who once wrote a profile of Jean-Luc Dehaene, the Belgian prime minister, which was so xenophobic it almost led to a diplomatic incident.

This sales operation has Sir Leon Brittan’s fingerprints all over it. The senior UK commissioner has been fretting for months about the Europhobic tilt in his own Tory party and in the country at large ahead of the general…

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