Bruges Group alleges plagiarism by UK’s EU presidency

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has described as ‘pretty fanciful’ Lord Lamont’s claim that the UK’s EU Presidency logo violates the copyright of a Eurosceptic think-tank of which he is co-chairman.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has described as ‘pretty fanciful’ Lord Lamont’s claim that the UK’s EU Presidency logo violates the copyright of a Eurosceptic think-tank of which he is co-chairman.

In an open letter dated 1 July – the day the UK’s EU presidency and its flying swan logo were formally launched – Lamont pointed to ‘remarkable parallels’ between the UK’s EU emblem and a logo representing The Bruges Group, the honorary president of which is Baroness Thatcher.

He went on to threaten legal action for possible breach of copyright and gave the Government a deadline of noon on Friday to respond.

A spokesman for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office points out that the swan logo was copyright-checked and trademarked before it was first unveiled in February. He says Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will be making a full response to Lamont’s letter ‘in due course’.

The designer of the Government’s EU logo, Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks, reacted with bewilderment to the claims. ‘Until Saturday morning, I had never seen [the Bruges Group’s] logo before,’

The Bruges Group

• Founded in 1989 as an EU-sceptic campaigning organisation.

• Named after Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges Speech of 1988.

• Mission statement: ‘To bring together those from across Europe and North America who have an alternative concept to the Federalist model.’

• www.brugesgroup.com

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