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« on: August 15, 2007, 01:01:58 PM »

Will Brown stand for Europe's anthem after all?
Last updated at 21:45pm on 11th August 2007

Gordon Brown will be forced to stand to attention for the European 'national' anthem, under proposals from the European Parliament.

The Government claimed victory after references to Beethoven's Ode To Joy - adopted as the EU's anthem in 1985 - were removed from the revised European 'constitution'.

But The Mail on Sunday has learned the Brussels parliament is to give the music greater 'official character'.

This would mean when visiting dignitaries address the assembly, their arrival will be heralded by the anthem. During this time, both visitors and MEPs would be expected to stand in silence.

The provocative plan was slipped through shortly before MEPs began their summer break.

German Socialist Jo Leinen, the author of the proposal, said: "So far, the anthem is not being officially used in the parliament. If we have it in the rules of procedure, we could play it when we have visits of foreign delegations or during celebrations."

The original EU constitution enshrined the official status of the anthem and the EU flag of 12 gold stars on a blue background.

The new treaty is based on this rejected constitution, but following British objections all reference to these were removed.

Neil O"Brien, of the Eurosceptic think-tank Open Europe, said the parliament had 'stuck two fingers' up at Mr Brown. "If he has to stand for the EU anthem, it will demonstrate how little the British Government has achieved in halting the relentless drive towards making Europe more like a single country,' he added.

Will Brown stand for Europe's anthem after all?
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