The British public was becoming increasingly disillusioned with the cost of the machinery of the European Union and its eccentric decisions. There was a general feeling that the Eurocrats lived in their own world which was largely divorced from the reality experience by the people who paid for their antics.
And then, along came the unhappy coincidence of by-elections to both the British and the European parliaments. The Security Service was landed with the problem of sorting out real threats from rhetoric in the mass of increasingly EU-hostile election publications, official and unofficial.
There were those who wanted reform and those who favoured dismantling a failed experiment and starting again - and getting it right the next time. Then there was a destructive attack on the European parliament building in Strasbourg, long identified as a major source of discontent among the people who had to pay for this exercise in French national pride. Suddenly, the stakes were dramatically higher and the EU governments were faced with the threat of an Empty Sky Policy.
At a time of mistrust and the need for the highest levels of security - among both conspirators and security forces - finding out exactly where everyone's loyalties lay became the stuff of nightmares.