· By MONITOR MR Tony Blair told the European Parliament, “I am a passionate pro-European. I always have been”, and warned that unless the EU reformed itself it faced “Failure on a grand, strategic, scale”. The rough reception forecast for Mr Blair from MEPs did not take place and there was agreement that his speech had been forceful and effective. Mr Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, borrowed 8'735 billion pounds in May, the highest amount since 1993. Mr Brown's flagship tax credit scheme for low income groups was severely criticised by the Parliamentary Ombudsman and Citizens Advice for administrative failures which had caused thousands of families “worry and distress”. Opening the National School of Government, a study centre for civil servants, Mr Blair announced a new quango called Better Regulation Executive for “reducing the burden of paperwork for business”.