Pro-Europeans 'must work harder'

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will warn of a "crisis of complacency" among pro-European Britons.

He will urge those who support British membership of the European Union to come out fighting against the anti brigade.

Everyone who believes in the EU must work harder to explain the benefits of membership and explode the myths, he will say.

Mr Straw's appeal comes in speech to be delivered in Chester on Thursday.

"My purpose is to encourage those who support Britain's active participation in the European Union to respond to the anti-European assault by making the positive case for Europe," he will say.

"I believe there is a crisis of complacency among those who support Britain's EU membership.

"Those who believe in the EU - in politics, in business, in the media, indeed in all walks of life - need to work harder and speak louder to explain the benefits of membership by explaining in simple terms the reality behind the myths.

"The reality is that by working together as freely co-operating nations the 25 member states create more jobs, do more business and make ourselves more secure than any of us could alone."

But Mr Straw will also warn pro-Europeans of the dangerous arguments of the "starry-eyed integrationists whose ideological fervour gives ammunition to the superstate conspiracy theorists".

The polarisation of views leaves the majority of people bewildered, he will warn. Mr Straw will also address the controversial draft EU constitution, saying it will not end 1,000 years of nationhood, nor threaten the Queen's status.

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