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Watching one’s country become a laughing stock is an unsettling experience. Ask Stephen Wall, our man in Brussels. He is John Major’s personal choice as ambassador to the EU. Wall sums up British policy towards Europe. As in brick wall, stonewall, or wall flower. Take your pick: the image is one of obduracy, obstinacy, and ineffectiveness.

Wall arrived in Brussels nine months ago. He thought his job was to hold a mildly Eurosceptic line until a change in government. Suddenly, it’s all turned nasty. Now he’s under orders to block every EU decision until the Europeans lift their ban on…

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