Three committees of unelected Brussels
bureaucrats will be handed almost total control of our lives
1996: Millionaire businessman Sir James Goldsmith announces
a plan for a Referendum Party, promising to fund candidates
to fight the next UK general election on a platform of giving
the electorate a referendum on whether to join the European
Since his death, the late Sir James Goldsmith has faded from
the British consciousness. Yet his legacy lives on in one
vital respect. Britain did not join the European single currency
along with the other 12 members of the European Union, because
of a referendum pledge which he extracted from the two main
UK political parties before he died. History may say that
he saved Britain from the Euro. It will certainly say, at
the very least, that he delayed Britain`s entry, until such
a momentous constitutional decision had been approved in a
referendum. The vast majority of the citizens of Europe were
not granted that democratic choice by their governments.
Why does a single currency have such momentous consequences?
The famous economist John Maynard Keynes summed it up in a
few stark words:
"He who controls the currency, controls the Government"
The "governments" of the countries of Europe have given away
control of their currencies to others outside their own national
The UK Referendum political party was a small UK fringe political
party formed by Sir James Goldsmith with the sole aim of trying
to prevent either of the two main political parties (Conservatives
and Labour) from taking Britian into any future single European
currency, unless any such proposal was first approved by the
British people in a nationwide referendum.
In 1996, when the following speech was given, there was a
general feeling that both the main UK political parties were
drifting into going along with joining a future European single
currency, in spite of the fact that opinion polls showed that
the British public did not like the idea. There was the feeling
that in the next general election, there would be nobody to
vote for to express that "stay out of the Euro" choice. There
were calls for the matter to be decided in a future referendum.
But neither main political party was willing to give such
an assurance. Political parties do not like to give such pledges
- they like to do what they want when they get into Government.
This was the scenario under which the millionaire Sir James
Goldsmith decided to form his Referendum party, with the sole
aim of extracting the promise of a "no Euro without a referendum"
promise from the two main political parties at the next General
Election, which by law would soon have to be held.
In the 1997 general election which followed this speech,
the Referendum party put forward candidates in every constituency
where the leading contender failed to voice a pro referendum
stance. Many pro Euro candidates in marginal seats, where
the Referendum party candidate in effect held the balance
of power, felt their majorities so threatened by the populist
policies of the Referendum party candidates, that both major
political parties eventually, and reluctantly, felt obliged
to promise that vital Euro referendum when and if the time
came while they were in Government.
Without that intervention by the Referendum party, it is
almost certain that the Labour government under Tony Blair
would have taken Britain into the Euro currency without a
referendum when twelve of the fifteen Euroland countries joined
on the 1st January 1999. Only one government allowed its people
to vote on such a momentous decision - Denmark. In spite of
massive pro Euro publicity by the Danish government, the people
of Denmark rejected joining the Euro in a referendum. One
can only speculate how the citizens of the other 12 countries,
given the democratic choice, would have voted....
Opinion polls in the UK show a consistent majority against
joining the Euro single currency. The UK Labour government,
although constantly making pro Euro noises, has not yet felt
that it could win Sir James Goldsmith`s Euro referendum. The
UK retains its national currency, along with Denmark, Sweden,
Norway and Switzerland.
We want the people of Britain to be able
to make the most important decision a country can face - whether
or not it should continue as an independent nation.
We seek no power for ourselves. We are not politicians and
do not want to become politicians. We are people drawn from
every walk of life, from every region of the nation, and from
every major political party, left, right and centre. Among
us are doctors, teachers, businessmen, housewives, farmers,
fishermen, and others. We represent a broad diversity of views.
But we are united in one unshakeable belief. We reject the
idea that this country's destiny as a proud and sovereign
nation can be brought to an end through the backroom dealings
The sovereignty of this nation belongs to its people, not
to a group of career politicians. It is the people and they
alone who must decide, after a full debate and a public vote,
whether Britain should remain an independent nation or whether
her future will be better served as part of a new country
- the single European super-state, also known as a federal
Our purpose is to fight to obtain that right to decide. And
when the decision has been made, the Referendum Party will
The issue that faces us is of such enormity that we all find
it hard to grasp.
As we go about our daily lives in a normal way, how can any
of us believe that our history as an independent nation is
being quietly and surreptitiously brought to an end? And yet,
that is what is happening.
Consider for a moment the qualities that define a sovereign
nation - those that distinguish it from a vassal state or
from a province of a larger nation or empire:
Each of these fundamental national rights has either already
been abandoned or is now under imminent threat.
When our political leaders assure us that they will never
allow us to be part of a federal European state, alas, they
are not telling us the truth.
Already they have signed treaties which have surrendered
an indispensable part of our sovereignty. And they did so
without explaining the facts to us and without our consent.
Already laws passed in Westminster are no longer supreme.
As British judges have confirmed, the supreme law of this
land is now European law.
Already we have signed away the right to run our economy
for the benefit of our own people. The Governor of Germany's
Central Bank puts it concisely. Referring to economic and
monetary union, he says and I quote, "it will lead to member
nations transferring their sovereignty over financial and
wage policies as well as in monetary affairs. It is an illusion
to think," he adds, "that states can hold onto their autonomy
over taxation policies".
So much for our control over our financial and wage policies,
our monetarv affairs and our taxation policies.
And the governing European political caste has put forward
proposals to transfer to Brussels control over our foreign
policy, our national security and our frontiers.
This is not a personal view. The facts are out in the open.
Germany`s foreign policy spokesman is both clear and honest.
He explains that Germany's ruling party wants what he calls
"a country", a federal Europe which will have one Parliament,
one Government, one Court of Justice, one currency. Up to
twenty-five existing European nations, including our own,
would be welded into this set-up.
He goes further. He proclaims that nation states have already
lost their sovereignty - and that sovereignty, in his words,
is no more than "an empty shell".
The German Chancellor constantly repeats to us that it is
irrevocable, indeed forever... Remember, according to the
treaties that we have already signed, all this is irreversible.
The Chancellor constantly repeats to us that it is irrevocable,
Think about that. In an association of countries, when one
of them disagrees strongly with the others, it can withdraw.
And if the other countries find it impossible to work with
that country, they can expel it.
But, in an irreversible union, things are wholly different.
A country can neither withdraw nor can it be expelled. Otherwise,
it would not be an irreversible union.
When I referred earlier to the "governing
European political caste," I was not just referring to continental
politicians. The bulk of our own must be included.
It was the Conservative Government which signed away our
rights to self-government and which, through weakness, has
systematically given into the demands of the Eurocrats.
The Labour Party, for its part, has just discovered the version
of conservatism followed by Edward Heath (the former Conservative
party leader who took Britain into the European Common Market
in the 1970`s). Like Heath, it turns its back on the nation
state and favours the creation of a politically integrated
and corporatist Europe.
The Labour Party is a source of bewilderment. It proposes
referendums allowing the Scots, the Northern Irish, the Welsh,
the residents of the greater London area, among others, to
express themselves on how they want to be governed. It even
puts forward the idea of a referendum on electoral reform.
But it refuses a clean, clear and fundamental referendum on
whether the United Kingdom herself as a whole, should be governed
by Westminster or by Brussels.
The Liberal Democrats Party (Lib-Dems) are uncomplicated.
They proclaimed and I quote: "We are super-nationalists".
Our Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) all support
abandoning our powers of self government and campaign for
a federal Europe. In the European arena, our Conservative,
Labour and Lib-Dem MEPs, along with the parties to which they
are affiliated, all support abandoning our powers of self
government and campaign for a federal Europe.
As for the grandees, the political establishment, they fully
endorse the slide to federalism. Only a few weeks ago, one
former Prime Minister, one former Deputy Prime Minister, three
former Foreign Secretaries and the British Vice President
of the European Commission, jointly signed a much publicised
proclamation to this effect.
But beware. The record of the establishment is not promising.
Before the war, it needed Churchill, overriding the active
hostility of the establishment, to provide the strength to
come to the rescue of Europe. During the cold war, it took
outsiders like Reagan and Thatcher, or before them, Ernest
Bevin and Hugh Gaitskell, to provide the guts to face down
the threat of the Soviet Union. And now, yet again, the establishment
exhibits its habitual weakness.
The British people have been offered no choice. No matter
which major political party they turn to, the result will
be the same.
To understand what is happening to us, we
must both ask and answer the question - how is it possible that
our politicians have accepted a constitution for Europe that
is so totally contrary to our tradition of democracy?
The fundamental premise of a true democracy is that Parliament
makes the law, the Judiciary interprets the law, and the Executive
governs within the law.
That is the basis of the separation of powers and of the
system of checks and balances on which our democracy is built.
Ultimate control rests with the people who elect Parliament
and, therefore, indirectly, the government.
The European constitution is based on a wholly different
set of ideas.
The European Commission has been granted what in Euro-jargon
is called "the monopoly of initiative". That means that only
the Commission is empowered to put forward proposals concerning
the governance of the European Union.
Remember when Jacques Delors, the former President of the
European Commission, addressed the Trade Unions Council here
in the U.K. in 1988. He told us then that 80 percent of our
national laws would be made in this way. This is totally contrary
to our idea of democracy.
The Commission is unique in another way. It
is the only institution in a supposedly democratic community
which has the right not only to create laws but also to execute
them. This is totally contrary to our idea of democracy.
And what is more, the Commission has been granted the right
to act in secret and its members, the Commissioners, are unelected
bureaucrats without any democratic legitimacy.
They are the people that can produce laws which are supreme
over the laws passed in Westminster.
This antithesis of democracy is complemented
by two other similarly conceived institutions and they happen
to be the two other most powerful political organisations within
the European Union.
the European Court of Justice
and the European Central Bank.
In a democracy a normal Court of Justice consists of judges
who interpret the law. The European Court of Justice is quite
different. Only a minority of its fifteen members would qualify
as judges here in the U.K. The others are politicians, academics
and consultants who have benefited from political patronage.
They do not interpret the law - they make it.
The European Court of Justice is a political court with a
political agenda. Its rulings, time and again, are based on
principles that the Court simply creates and which have no
legal basis in the Treaties themselves.
As one of its former judges has admitted, the European Court
of Justice, is a court with a "mission." That mission is to
create a federal Europe.
Of course, as usual in the European Union (EU), it carries
out its business in secret and there is no appeal against
The European Central Bank will be subject to no political
or democratic control of any kind. It will also be populated
by unelected civil servants who will have absolute power.
They will be subject to no political or democratic control
of any kind. That, also, is written into the Treaty of Maastricht.
This particular group of civil servants will dominate all
the economies of Europe.
Let me remind you that, as has been made quite
clear to us, once economic and monetary union is in place, what
happens to interest rates, wages, inflation, growth and therefore
jobs, will be decided in Frankfurt.
Just think of that - interest rates, wages, inflation, growth
and jobs. And remember that the Governor of Germany's Central
Bank has already told us that we can also kiss good-bye to
our control over our financial and wage policies, our monetary
affairs and our taxation policies.
What is more, the Eurocrats are now planning a "Stability
Pact" which was proposed last year by Germany and the principles
of which were approved by the European Union last month in
This will mean that Brussels will set the rules also for
spending and borrowing and will establish what is known as
the "broad economic guidelines"
Brussels will be granted increased rights to exercise what
they call "multilateral surveillance".
Most of these constraints will apply whether or not we opt
out of the single currency.
What is more, it is proposed that those who are either "in"or
"out" of the single currency will be obliged to submit what
they call "convergence or stability programmes" which will
be subject to scrutiny by European institutions rather than
by our own Parliament.
Our Chancellor of the Exchequer has agreed in principle to
grant that control to Brussels without even seeking prior
discussion by Parliament.
Let us be quite clear. The consequence of
all this domination by Brussels will mean that neither the Conservative
nor the Labour Party, whichever is elected in the forthcoming
General Election, will have the legal power to run our economy
So their principal electoral promises and manifesto proclamations
are empty of substance.
Three Committees are
being handed almost total power over the lives of all the
peoples of Europe:
They consist of unelected bureaucrats
who have been or are being handed almost total power over
the lives of all the peoples of Europe.
In so far as we are concerned, the overwhelming majority
of those powers has traditionally been in the custody of our
Parliament, our Court of Law and our Government.
Now they have been or are being abandoned silently deceitfully
and irreversibly by our politicians and without our consent.
We have been encouraged to sleepwalk
into surrendering our nation.
"There is no question of any erosion of essential national
Never again should we trust such
How has all this happened?
As we know, the construction of the European Union was designed
by Germany assisted by the elite civil servants of France.
It draws the bulk of its inspiration from Germany's constitutional
heritage. The ethos of that constitution is drawn from Prussia,
and Prussian political thought was moulded principally by
the German philosopher, Hegel.
So the key to understanding the institutions of the European
Union is to understand how the German constitution, itself,
I seek your indulgence to remind you of this essential piece
of history, essential to grasping what is happening to us
today, and essential to understanding how we find ourselves
bound by a constitution alien to everything we have respected
and stood for during, as Hugh Gaitskell (the former Labour
Party leader) said, a thousand years of our history.
"The people... do not know what they want..."
Hegel, the philosophical father of the German constitutional
tradition, believed in the State and despised the people -
or "rabble" as he often called them. He wrote and I quote:
"The people ... do not know what they want. To know what one
wants is the fruit of profound insight and this is the very
thing that the people lack ""We should venerate the State
as an earthly divinity", he added.
He explained that only the bureaucrat is the true servant
and master of the State.
Hegel considered that elected bodies, such as Parliament,
were only useful to perfect the process of subordinating the
Prussia began to unify the independent nations of Germany
in 1834. At that time, they were still independent monarchies.
The first step was to create a common market or customs union
known as the "Zollverein" comprising nineteen nations. The
peoples of the various German nations were told that its purpose
was to form a large free trade area. After some armed struggles,
the common market was converted, in 1867, into a political
The peoples were told that this would help to consolidate
and to develop that common trading area whilst maintaining
substantial independence for the participating nations.
Four years later, in 1871, the trap was closed. The Confederation
was expanded and converted into a single German superstate
dominated by Prussia.
The Parliament was no more than a democratic looking front,
whereas real power was concentrated into the hands of the
leading civil servants.
The principle of irreversibility was made absolute. No nation
could withdraw from this new German superstate.
I am telling you all this because it relates directly to
the way the European Union has been created.
Remember what happened:
First came the Common Market. We, also, were told that its
purpose was to form a large free trade area.
Then we moved on to a grouping of nations. We, also, were
promised that we would retain essential national sovereignty.
Of course, a Parliament was established but real power was,
also, concentrated in the hands of the leading civil servants.
The principle of irreversibility was also introduced prohibiting
any nation from leaving the European Union.
And now the trap is being closed. We, also, are being led
blindfold into a federal super-state.
The French civil servants, who are both the servants and
the political masters of the French state, acted as handmaidens
in this enterprise. They were flattered, suborned and rewarded.
And they are vain and arrogant enough to believe that by
collaborating with Germany, they will become the co-masters
of Europe. They seem incapable of understanding that they
are just being used.
As someone who is half French, let me assure you that one
day they will be judged by the French people, the true ones,
not the elites, and that the verdict will be severe.
That is how the European Union was created
in total contradiction with the fundamental principles of British
It placed all real power into the hands of unelected civil
servants and did so with the help of fools, weaklings and
Hegel would have been content. The power of the civil servants
will not be polluted by the people. "The rabble" as he called
them will have no influence.
Well, we are the rabble. And we have had enough. As Edmund
Burke said in 1784, '"there is a limit at which forbearance
ceases to be a virtue." We have reached that limit.
So we will fight in every part of this nation and, through
our example, we will be present in the struggle for democracy
in every nation of Europe.
We will field candidates in every constituency in which the
leading contender, whatever his party, has failed to demonstrate
that he favours a referendum on the fundamental issue concerning
our future relationship with Europe.
We are not interested in what politicians say. We look at
what they do and why they do it.
Almost every day, I receive letters from Members of Parliament
swearing allegiance. They tell us that, deep down, they have
always wanted a referendum and that it would be unfair for
us to field a candidate against them.
Then we check their voting record and we find that time and
time again, whenever they have been offered the opportunity
to vote for a referendum, they have either voted against or
run away and abstained.
We place no trust in those who put their careers above the
interest of their nation, those who alter their views so as
to be re-elected or to obtain promotion.
Indeed, one of the big problems that we will face will be
that as the nation becomes increasingly aware that it has
been deceived, so the leading politicians will change their
tune and try to mislead us yet again.
Look at Tony Blair. In 1983, he stated and I quote.. "We’ll
negotiate a withdrawal from the EEC which has drained our
natural resources and destroyed jobs".
But later, the Labour Party changed its tune. I quote: '"Labour
supports progress towards economic and monetary union..."
Blair followed. He said: "If we want to maintain our global
role, we must be a leading player in Europe. Pro-Europeans
must be persuaders in the debate about Europe's future."
But at the Labour Party Conference, Tony Blair vowed to build
"a new and constructive relationship in Europe".
Of course, that was just an elegant way of avoiding the issue.
It means nothing.
The questions to be answered, Mr. Blair, are: does the new
Labour Party believe in repatriating power or does it believe
in a federal Europe? And why is it that the Labour Party is
willing to offer referendums on so many subjects, but not
on the one of paramount importance? Those questions remain
John Major (the Conservative Prime Minister) is also an interesting
In November 1991, he said there will be no referendum, quote,
'"because we are a parliamentary democracy."
A few days later, he confirmed his firm commitment: I quote:
" the (Conservative) Government does not intend to hold a
referendum on the outcome of the Maastricht negotiations".
A few months later, he repeated: ".... I am not in favour
of a referendum in a parliamentary democracy, and I do not
propose to put one before the British people".
In May 1994, he said: "I have not changed my mind".
A few months later, he said and I quote:"... I made it clear
that I did not rule out a referendum".
A few days after that, he stated : "I have said that I am
not prepared to close the door on the possibility of a referendum".
On 29th June 1995, he said: "... I repeat what I have said
in the House (of Commons) before: "I do not propose to rule
a referendum out......".
On 1st March 1996, he said: "I have made it clear to the
House on previous occasions that I believe that a referendum
on joining a single European currency could be a necessary
step. My position has not changed".
And all this has continued during last week's Conservative
Our (Conservative) Foreign Secretary attacked the Labour
Party saying, quote: "Ask yourselves why Tony Blair and the
Labour Party have refused to commit themselves to a referendum?
Whilst we trust the people, the people can't trust Labour".
You seem to have forgotten, Mr. Foreign Secretary, that on
the 17th of June this year, you said to "The Times" newspaper
that you ruled out a referendum on Britain's relations with
Europe. That was a confirmation of what you said only a month
earlier to the "Daily Telegraph".
The Home Secretary for his part, proclaimed that Labour,
"want to sell this country to a federal Europe." "We have",
he added, "a simple answer to this. Never".
Those are noble sentiments. But how do you reconcile them
with the fact that you yourself used to work as a member of
the Executive Committee of the "European Movement" ?
Let me remind you that it was the "European Movement" which
spearheaded the selling of this country to a federal Europe.
And did so with funding from the propaganda budget of the
And, Home Secretary, have you forgotten that it was your
government, with your support, that signed the Treaty of Maastricht
which, effectively surrendered this country to a federal Europe?
Home Secretary you are reputed to be a skilled and hard working
lawyer, a Queen's Counsel no less. When you voted for the
Maastricht Treaty, were you unable to understand the terms
of the Treaty, despite your great legal experience? Were you
unable to understand that Maastricht was selling the country
irreversibly into a federal Europe?
During the Liberal Democrats Party Conference, referring
to the fact that neither the Tories nor the Labour Party dared
debate the European issue, their leader said: "So Britain
will be asked to vote without knowing what it is voting for.
This is a conspiracy perpetrated on the British people by
their politicians". I do not agree with his policies, but
on this issue, he is honest and speaks the truth.
Are these the people, both Conservative and Labour, that
we are going to trust when they make a whole new and contradictory
set of promises?
And what is more, promises which will be irreversible and
will bind the British people forever.
Let us now turn to the (Conservative) Government's
current policy. It calls for unity in the Conservative Party.
But how can a party unite honestly behind a non existent policy?
One wing of the party wishes to maintain national sovereignty
whilst the other seeks to integrate Britain into a European
Only those who cannot understand what it means to believe
strongly in anything could ask people, holding totally different
views on a vital national issue, to unite.
If you cut through the political jargon, this is what the
call for unity really means - it means let's just avoid the
The Conservative Government's official White Paper setting
out its negotiating position for the European inter-governmental
conference illustrates the way the Government thinks. Its
title is hopeful. It is called "A partnership of nations"
The document itself starts well. It makes for good public
relations. But when it reaches Clause 12, it collapses into
the usual compromise and double talk.
In effect, Clause 12 explains that the government will not
say "NO" to the consensus of Eurocrats. Clause 12 says that
the government will concentrate "on achieving sensible amendments"
and avoid "pressing ideas"' which would stand no chance of
In other words, if a sufficient number of Eurocrats say "boo!"
- we all fall down.
Has the government forgotten that, for the moment at least,
it still possesses the right of veto which protects our vital
The government, of course, would answer that under the circumstances,
its position is necessary.
It was one of our greatest Prime Ministers, William Pitt,
who said:"Necessity is the argument of tyrants. It is the
creed of slaves".
Let me now address a number of questions about the Referendum
Party which people rightly ask.
The Referendum Party is a single issue party, they say. And
so it is. But can there be a bigger and more determining issue?
The other parties have no issues. Their electoral promises
are almost totally empty. How can it be otherwise when the
very powers needed to make good on the bulk of their promises
are being handed to Brussels?
Until we have settled the fundamental question of who governs
Britain - Westminster or Brussels, the gesticulations of all
political parties are no more than that - gesticulations.
The Referendum Party stands for the issue from which all
policies inevitably flow. It is the only issue which counts.
And we, in the Referendum Party, want the people to decide
The other parties just seek the power of office.
But - that power will lie outside this country, in Brussels!
So they will only get the privileges, and not the power.
Perhaps privilege without responsibility is what suits them
Some suggest that a vote for the Referendum
Party is a wasted vote. Wrong. It is the only vote which counts.
A vote for the Referendum Party is your chance to decide
whether Britain will bring home her right to self government.
A vote for the other parties is a vote for Brussels.
It is said that it could be disloyal for a member of the
other political parties to vote for the Referendum Party.
Wrong again. We are not competing for power with the other
parties. We seek no power for ourselves.
The issue that we fight for is to allow you, not the politicians,
to make the decision that will dominate our future. It is
well above party politics.
We do not ask people to abandon their traditional parties.
Once we have obtained a fair referendum, the Referendum Party
will dissolve. That is written into our constitution.
We can all then return to our traditional parties and, if
we have so decided, the parties will once again have the legal
power to govern this nation.
Voting for the Referendum Party is your decision, reached
in private. You can decide whether power should come home.
What is more, it provides us all with a guarantee. It ties
down the parties. They will have to respect the will of the
They will not, once again, be able to promise one thing and
do the opposite.
And this would be fully understood in Europe. Our politicians
would be armed with a clear mandate from the people.
Some claim that we are Little Englanders. The truth is blindingly
obvious. The Little Englanders are those who would transform
this ancient nation into a mere province of the European Union.
If elected, our candidates would form an ad-hoc coalition
with those Members of Parliament of the other parties who
also favour a referendum. Together, we would enact a fair
Referendum Bill and then we would resign.
Let me pay homage to those MPs from the left and from the
right who have fought for a referendum. They have put nation
above party. They have sacrificed their own careers. They
have confronted conventional wisdom, and they have accepted
with fortitude the consequent abuse. And they have stood firm.
They restore dignity to politics. They stand out as honest
men, indeed heroes, among so many of their colleagues who
float with the tide, trim and alter their views to obtain
advancement, and demean themselves to gain easy popularity.
When critics say that we have minimal political experience,
our answer to them is "Wonderful!" When critics say that we,
in the Referendum Party have minimal political experience,
our answer to them is "Wonderful!"
My last specific comment concerns the wording
of the question to be submitted to the electorate in a referendum.
We are convinced that the question must address the fundamental
issues of our relationship with Europe.
We must not let the politicians get away with a false referendum.
For example. a question limited to the single currency would
fail to address all the other vital issues:
Our right to legislate to:
(a) run our economy;
(b) control our foreign affairs, our national security and
Like illusionists on the stage, the politicians, both Labour
and Conservative, will hold out their right hand for us to
look at, whilst they will keep their left hand well hidden.
In the right hand, will be the suggestion that they might
grant us a referendum on a single currency.
In the left hand, they will hide the reality of our loss
of sovereignty on all the other fundamental issues, which
inevitably will force us into a federal Europe.
Just look at the Conservative pledge for a referendum. It
is limited to the single currency. It sidesteps all the really
important issues about our independence.
It requires that the Conservatives win the next general election-
that the Cabinet approve it - that Parliament votes for it.
Not in a free vote, but with a three line party whip.
In other words, as was the case with Maastricht, Members
of Parliament will be forced to vote in favour of the single
currency, no matter what they believe.
Only then would this limited referendum be submitted to the
The government would be committed to campaigning for a "yes"
vote. All its machinery of power and its massive propaganda
capabilities would once again be brought into play.
The members of the government would not be able to vote according
to their conscience. They would have to support publicly the
single currency or resign.
And the result of the referendum would only bind the Conservatives
for one term.
That is this Conservative Government's idea of a fair referendum.
And what of the Labour Party, which the pundits forecast
will win the next election? What would they do? No doubt,
just proceed to a federal Europe without a public debate,
nor a public vote.
From opinion polls, it would seem that the
people of this country, in varying proportions, hold four different
principal opinions about Europe:
(1) that we should become an integral part of a federal Europe.
(2) be part of a family of sovereign European nations which
would co-operate when we can do things better together than
(3) that we should return to being just a member of the European
Free Trade Association (EFTA), which was our original concept
of "joining Europe".
(4) or, finally, that we should just get out of Europe.
In our opinion the referendum should be multi-optional -
it should accommodate the existing diversity of views. The
exact words would be determined fairly and constitutionally.
If you elect members of the Referendum Party, we will negotiate
with the pro-referendum MPs in the other parties so as to
obtain such a multi-optional referendum.
The members of our Party are free men and
women representing a multiplicity of views.
If we obtain a referendum, each of our views, including mine,
will be just one among many others.
Here are mine:
I believe in a new Europe. A Europe that draws its strengths
from its extraordinary diversity. A Europe that is built on
its true pillars - its ancient nations.
We would be members of a family of sovereign nations which
would cooperate for their mutual benefit.
And there should be the strictest possible institutional
control to ensure that this spirit of co-operation should
never again be allowed to grow into the malignancy which produced
Brussels and the other European institutions.
The peoples of Europe must be liberated from the control
of the bureaucracy and power should return where it belongs
- to Westminster.
People ask why I am doing all this. You know why. I am doing
it for the same reasons as you. We just cannot stand by and
see this nation surrendered. We are just not built that way
We all know that it will draw on every ounce of our energy,
that it will be costly, that we will be abused, misquoted
and even ridiculed by our opponents.
But that will not deter us. We do not fear abuse. Nor even
do we fear failure. Although we prefer success.
And we deserve no thanks. Because as we see this tragic European
accident unfolding before our eyes, we are unable to be passive.
We have no option other than to fight.
The German Chancellor has said that within two years, he
will make European integration irreversible. He stated "This
is a really big battle, but it is worth the fight". He reminds
us regularly that by irreversible, he means forever.
Let me make just one promise, just one vow. We, the rabble
army, we in the Referendum Party, we will strive with all
our strength to obtain for the people of these islands the
right to decide whether or not Britain should remain a nation.
Let us borrow the German Chancellor`s words and accept his
challenge. Yes, indeed, this is a really big battle, but it
is worth the fight."
May 1997: The Labour party wins the UK General Election.
In its election manifesto it somewhat unexpectedly inserted
a promise that, if at some time in the future it decides to
recommend the UK`s entry into the Euro, it would first hold
a Referendum to give the citizens of the UK the final decision....