Saturday, 6 November 2021

Every Prime Minister that wanted Britain IN the EU

 

Every Prime Minister from 1957 to 2016 wanted Britain in the European Community. 

Only the two latest Tory Prime Ministers since 2016 - Theresa May and Boris Johnson - wanted us out. However, before they became Prime Minister, they had wanted us in.

▪ HAROLD MACMILLAN – CONSERVATIVE, 1957 to 1963

In 1961, Mr Macmillan applied for Britain to join the European Economic Community, just four years after it was formed.

“perhaps the most fateful and forward-looking policy decision in our peacetime history.”
▪ SIR ALEC DOUGLAS-HOME – CONSERVATIVE, 1963 to 1964

Sir Alec said:
“I have never made it a secret that I cannot see an alternative which would offer as good a prospect for this country as joining the EEC [European Community].”
▪ EDWARD HEATH – CONSERVATIVE, 1970 to 1974

It was Edward Heath who joined Britain to the European Community, with the backing of Parliament following 300 hours of debate.

Wrote Mr Heath just before we joined:
“The community which we are joining is far more than a common market. It is a community in the true sense of that term.”
▪ HAROLD WILSON – LABOUR, 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976

In 1975 Mr Wilson offered the nation a referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Community. 

Before the referendum Mr Wilson told Parliament on 7 April 1975:

“My judgment, on an assessment of all that has been achieved and all that has changed, is that to remain in the Community is best for Britain, for Europe, for the Commonwealth, for the Third World and the wider world.”

The ‘Yes’ vote won the referendum by a landslide – by 67% to 33%.

▪ JAMES CALLAGHAN – LABOUR, 1976 to 1979

Mr Callaghan strongly supported the ‘Yes’ vote in the 1975 referendum, having led the negotiations as Foreign Secretary for Britain’s new terms of membership.

He said during the campaign: 
“The future belongs to our children and our grandchildren; it is in their interests, in my view, finally and overwhelmingly, whatever the future may hold for our generation, it's in their interests that there should be a growing unity in Europe.
▪ MARGARET THATCHER – CONSERVATIVE, 1979 to 1990

In a speech to the European Parliament in 1986, Mrs Thatcher said that the European Community had been formed:
“to bring about a lasting peace within Western Europe, to replace antagonism with friendship and cooperation, to deepen and broaden Europe's democratic tradition.”
▪ JOHN MAJOR – CONSERVATIVE, 1990 to 1997

Mr Major told the Tory Party Conference in 1992:
“Let us not forget why we joined the Community. It has given us jobs. New markets. New horizons.
“Nearly 60 per cent of our trade is now with our partners. It is the single most important factor in attracting a tide of Japanese and American investment to our shores, providing jobs for our people.”
▪ TONY BLAIR – LABOUR, 1997 to 2007

Tony Blair said in a keynote speech to the European Parliament in 2005:
“I am a passionate pro-European. I always have been. My first vote was in 1975 in the British referendum on membership and I voted yes.”
▪ GORDON BROWN – LABOUR, 2007 to 2010

In a speech to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr Brown said:
“Today we enjoy a Europe of peace and unity which will truly rank among the finest of human achievements and which is today a beacon of hope for the whole world.”
▪ DAVID CAMERON – CONSERVATIVE, 2010 TO 2016

David Cameron was the only leader of a main political party to call for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Community.

In a keynote speech before the referendum, he said:
“Britain is better off inside the EU than out on our own. At the heart of that is the Single Market – 500 million customers on our doorstep…a source of so many jobs, so much trade, and such a wealth of opportunity for our young people. 
“Leaving the EU would put all of that at risk.
▪ ALL OF THESE 10 PRIME MINISTERS had good points and bad points. 

But during their premierships, they all without exception supported membership of the European Community as being in Britain’s best interests.

Could they all have been wrong?
  • Watch this 2-minute video on the Prime Ministers that wanted Britain in the European Community:

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