is too frightening and too important to ignore any
If we don't want to become a neglected outstation of
the European Superstate, stripped of our nationhood,
powerless to decide who lives here, controlled by
laws we don't make and can't change, ruled by a
government we cannot throw out, we have rather a
short time in which to do something about it.
may think none of this matters to you, but the
trouble is that it does, whether you think so or
European Union is interested in you, your liberty
and your money, even if you don't care about it.
decisions affect your life, even if you don't
realise they do.
I point out that local councils are changing rubbish
collections because of EU laws, people don't believe
rightly think it ridiculous that such things should
be affected by what is supposed to be a Free Trade
partnership. But they are.
Ex-Europhile: Margaret Thatcher wears jumper
adorned with EU member states
huge number of our laws have been drawn up in
Brussels and hurried through Parliament without
anybody really understanding what they were doing.
lot of us still don't even grasp why it is that we
can no longer have nice blue British passports.
also don't grasp why they have to queue for ages to
get back into the country after a holiday.
aren't paying attention. That passport you have
isn't British. It's European. It gives you no more
right to enter this country than if you were a
border you are crossing is the border of the EU, not
Britain. If the Government set up a special channel
for UK passport holders it would be breaking EU law.
There is no longer any such thing as a British
has another grim meaning. We cannot control
two-thirds of the immigration now revolutionising
this country because it comes from EU states.
British people have a way of ignoring the Continent
then finding out just in time that what happens
there matters – Dunkirk being the most recent
example of this complacent folly. We probably won't
get another Dunkirk to warn us.
the time it is clear to everyone what has happened,
it will be far too late.
at the row we are having, a rather lukewarm row in
my view, about the European Constitution, dressed up
as the Treaty of Lisbon but still what it always was
– the official foundation document of the European
first it looks as if there are two sides, those for
a referendum, and those against.
what use would a referendum be? Who seriously
believes that, if Britain said "No", the EU would
say: "Oh, sorry to have troubled you with our silly,
over-ambitious idea. We'll give it up for good."?
they would threaten and suborn the British
Government into holding the vote again.
they would have yet another summit in which the
thing would be adjusted a tiny bit and presented as
if it were new. Or they would say: "Very well then,
if you don't like it, why not leave?"
Gordon Brown might hold a referendum on that very
subject. At this point we would badly need a major
political figure to stand up and say: "Yes, please,
could add: "After all, if Norway and Switzerland can
cope outside, we certainly can. And I defy anyone to
tell me one single way in which this country has
benefited from its long entanglement with this
this will not happen. Our entire political elite, in
all parties, love the EU, not because it is good for
the country, but because it is good for them.
love its regular service of gravy trains, carrying
failed Ministers off to a life of high salaries, big
expenses and huge pensions, plus an almost total
absence of responsibility.
don't mind at all that it deprives them of the power
to do very much. They are, for the most part, short
of ideas and lazy, and happy to be able to pass the
buck to Brussels while enjoying their pay and perks.
Note, specially, the behaviour of the Tory Party.
People sometimes ask why I call them 'useless'.
Well, here's an example. You get a lot of something
called 'Euroscepticism' from Tories. It's a stupid
word and it describes a worthless thing.
act as if they are against the EU grabbing our power
and money, and talk sternly about how they
David Cameron, William Hague and Malcolm Rifkind are
clear that, if the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, that
will be that. In the (highly unlikely) event of them
coming to power, they won't hold a referendum
because, oh dear, it will be too late.
doing this, they are part of a great tradition.
Harold Macmillan first sought British entry to the
Common Market in 1962. Then Ted Heath succeeded in
getting it, ramming our membership through
Parliament with characteristic ruthlessness and
sacrificing Britain's fisheries industry for his
When, in 1975, Harold Wilson held a referendum on
staying in, Margaret Thatcher campaigned vigorously
for Britain to remain in the Market, sporting a
jumper bearing the flags of member states.
she came to office, she pushed through the Single
European Act, a huge surrender of British vetoes.
Then she was bludgeoned by Cabinet colleagues into
entering the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
the end of her premiership, she had begun to realise
what was at stake. But it was precisely because of
this that the Tory Party then threw her out of
Major went on to browbeat and bully his MPs into
voting for the Maastricht Treaty, yet another huge
surrender of independence.
Cameron represents a firm return to the Europhile
days before Lady Thatcher's rebellion.
it comes to action, the Tory Party will continue to
support the EU because they have been committed to
it since the Sixties, and cannot admit that this was
they also recognise how unpopular it is, which is
why they pretend to be hostile and invented 'Euroscepticism'
to console disgruntled voters.
longer this goes on, the harder it will be to
unscramble. My advice is not to be diverted by
campaigns for a referendum that will get us nowhere.
is to consider, very carefully, whether you will be
able to look your children and grandchildren in the
face when, 20 years hence, they ask: "What did you
do to stop the country being taken over by a foreign
shall continue, week by week, to suggest ways in
which you might be able to ensure that they never
need to ask that question.