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Friday, April 19, 2013

Lord Renwick: If Margaret Thatcher were Prime Minister today she would seek major reform of the EU before contemplating withdrawal

In a short piece for Open Europe's fortnightly bulletin, Lord Renwick, a key former advisor to Margaret Thatcher, argues that if the Iron Lady held office today, she would seek major EU reform before considering a 'Brixit'.

Margaret Thatcher argued relentlessly against the enterprise-stifling effects of EU centralism, hyper-bureaucracy and over-regulation.  She foresaw with critical clarity the economic disaster that would overtake the weaker members of the eurozone, unable to remain competitive by devaluing their currencies.  She would not accept that the British economy could not thrive outside the EU: that would depend on the policies British governments then pursued.  She would and did accept, however, that Britain’s influence would dwindle outside the system, both in Europe and beyond, including with the United States.

If reincarnated as prime minister today, it would be uncharacteristic of Mrs Thatcher not to make a huge effort to change the EU, before contemplating abandoning it. She would be certain to seek to launch a crusade with Angela Merkel, the Dutch and Swedish prime ministers and some of the Eastern Europeans to change the direction of EU policy. This would emphasise fostering growth and jobs, restoring competitiveness, and safeguarding the rights of the EU member states outside the eurozone. Only then, would she decide whether enough had been achieved to render continuing membership worthwhile.

Lord R. Renwick's “A Journey with Margaret Thatcher: Foreign Policy under the Iron Lady”, will be published by Biteback next week.


Anonymous said...

"She foresaw with critical clarity the economic disaster that would overtake the weaker members of the eurozone, unable to remain competitive by devaluing their currencies."

Obviously the Iron Lady could "foresee" everything that happened, including the economical disaster in the weaker members, as it was insider information not only to her but to the whole of the European political-financial elite. Their plan has been to weaken these countries since WW2, and to exploit them as the colonies of the new EU empire, a space where they can freely extend the global businesses, then to extend the same colonising process onto the whole of the Western world, the effects of which we witness at present as the crisis of global capitalism. Even a schoolboy would realise that the austerity measures enforced everywhere are only worsening the crisis, yet it is the policy consistently pursued.

It is yet another fallacy to offer a "libertarian solution" to the crisis, as it would only open a completely free way for this private oligarchy to occupy the whole of Europe, which would mark the ultimate disaster and crisis.

More on my blog:

"The demo version of kratos: the sad moment when the totalitarian United States of Europe (USE) was born"


Thank you for reading.

Rodney Atkinson said...

Lord Renwick is talking nonsense. The position he describes might have been what the Establishment would force on Maggie but she would have rejecetd it. She did not see the EU as an economic system which just wasn't working well. She saw it as a constitutional monstrosity which destroys democracy and prosperity and leaves European peoples without the sovereign power to stop the collapse. Maggie was a great supporter of the electoral movement I founded The British Declaration of Independence because she understood what democratic sovereignty and democracy were and are! And they are niot to be found in the EU.
Rodney Atkinson

Freedom Lover said...

If Margaret Thatcher, or a genuinely comparable successor, was Prime Minister here in 2013, she (or he) would have long ago sought multiple major reforms of the EU. If she/he had succeeded, the EU would now be a much more acceptable place for all its member states - not just us in the UK. And if she/he had failed, she/he would have led Britain out of it long ago. And several other countries would probably have followed too!

christina speight said...

Lord Renwick clearly is detached from todays scene. He is talking as many of us did 8 or so years ago. The truth is that Cameron (and officials') soundings have made it perfectly clear that NO "renegotiation " of our relationship with the EU is possible unless we first leave the EU and make a free-standing arrangement. Also the idea that Mt Cameron’s “promise” of a referendum .has settled anything is naive. It was a distraction designed to close further talk for a long time ahead I know few that believe it will ever happen.

Lord R:'s are the dreams of yester-year

IDRIS said...

What on earth makes Lord Renwick think that as Mrs Thatcher was able to see in advance with startling clarity all that she did, she would now be unable to see with the same startling clarify the even worse consequences of staying in the EU, and the infinitesimally small change of the EU elite giving up on the policies in question and on their central objective, the single EU State?

Anonymous said...

Someone of Margaret Thatcher's intelligence and integrity would know there was fat chance of reform in the way acceptable to freedom-loving democratic peoples, so would push for an exit.

The snoopers' charter and press regulation is a case in point.

Rollo said...

Lord Renwick, what planet are you on? Lady Thatcher would contemplate withdrawing from the European Union every morning before breakfast. It is only the pressure by the quislings in the Tory hierarchy that bamboozled her into the Single Europe Act and in to staying in. Every politician since Heath has promised reform and every one has failed; as will cast-iron-pledge Cameron.

Anonymous said...

To my personal knowledge the Conservative Party has been promising significant change to the EEC/EU for at least thirty years. I can almost hear Francis Pym and others mouthing such promises but it was nor achieved.

It was not even seriously attempted.

The reason no great effort was or is now being made for such a meaningful, game changing revision, is that the EU member states do not intend to grant it.

Please stop wasting our time and your breath with such nonsesese.

Edward Spalton said...

To think that Mrs Thatcher would have fallen for anything as dishonest as "In Europe but not run by Europe" is manifest nonsense. She came to know that the EU was "irreformable" .

Unfortunately she was cursed with political colleagues whose first loyalty was to the EU and not to their own country - just like David ("heir to Blair") Cameron and friends

IDRIS said...

That makes it unanimous. Would Open Europe ensure that Lord Renwick sees these comments?

ppnn said...

Without taking a position at all, it is remarkable to see how sure everybody are on what Thatcher would have thought. Amazingly, it also seems to be precisely the views held by the commentators themselves.

Now, perhaps Robin Renwick has his own agenda, but there is no denying he has a certain advantage when it comes to credibly being able to say how the person he worked closely together with for several years would have reasoned.