James Forsyth

    Lost in Translation

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    This morning, I linked to Open Europe’s translation of the EU Constitution. Now the former Europe Minister Denis MacShane is claiming that Open Europe has mistranslated it to “whip up Euroscpetic fears.” He’s even offering to check their translations in future in exchange for a reasonable fee.

    Now MacShane, who is rightly proud of his ability to converse in many languages, might be right about the odd phrase or two but it is worth pointing out that Open Europe only had to do their own translation because the document was only released in French and as the government has no plans to produce an English version of the text before Parliament rose for the summer. Surely MacShane rather than attacking Open Europe for trying to plug this gap, should be trying to persuade his old colleagues at the Foreign Office to produce their own translation so we can all decide whether the new treaty is 90 or 96 percent the same as the old, rejected constitution?

    Written byJames Forsyth

    James Forsyth is political editor of The Spectator.

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