The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC June competition voters’ comments
Clue no. 17: Growth painful without British in Europe, say?

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A clue to UNION.
3 comments refer to this clue (from 3 competitors, 0 others)

Here is the text

Comments on the clue
1.Painful growth acceptable, not the other way around, not unless there was a hyphen or comma after painful
2.Europe is a continent; EU is the union, but good surface.
3.Lovely. Reminds me of Sabre's 'sounds frightful?' for (I think) EEKS.