Turns out I was right. More than that: the story was in the Mail (of course) two days previously and the Star, and refers to a very boring story that's fifteen years (!) old.
Don't buy tabloids. It only encourages them and the Tories who slipped this bit of propaganda. Here's what the EU said to these papers - they declined to print it:
"We are as surprised as your readers to hear that your newspaper believes the EU wishes to merge Britain and France. The suggestion... is absurd, and of course, untrue.
There is no proposal to create a new cross-channel region. What exist (and have done for 10 years) are a number of cross-border programmes aimed at things like boosting jobs and looking after the environment."The papers can lie and lie and lie, there's nothing the EU or anyone else can do about it.