Common Market: Second Act

The hour was late in the conference room in Brussels where the Common Market foreign ministers were considering Britain's application to join Europe's Six. Stale cigar smoke hung in the air, and papers were scattered over the tables. Picking up one of the English-language documents, France's Maurice Couve de Murville took the floor to lambaste each argument it contained. Suddenly a hand tugged at Couve's sleeve and a voice whispered in his ear: the paper he was so ruthlessly demolishing was not from the British at all—but was an English translation of one of the Six's own position papers.

The...

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