In search of a new deal for Britain

By George Parker and Quentin Peel

On January 22, 2013, the Franco-German political elite assembled in Berlin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Elysée treaty, the pact that sealed the postwar reconciliation of the two countries and propelled the great project of European unification.

Berlin was gridlocked as more than 1,000 French and German MPs held a symbolic meeting in the Reichstag, followed by a concert for 2,000 guests in Berlin’s Philharmonie. Town halls and schools across both countries celebrated 50 years of friendship between the old adversaries.

The only trouble was that during the six months of intensive planning leading ...

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