“lt will take time for full realisation of this to sink into party headquarters…”
“The full realisation of what?” I hear you ask. Here is the context:
The Government managed to get its wretched little European Communities Bill — under which this monstrous regimen of bureaucratic Brusselsdom was statutorily but unconstitutionally allowed to assume sovereignty over us — through Parliament by arguing that the fears expressed by anti-Market MPs were groundless, and that in practical terms Britain’s entry into Europe would increase rather than decrease British control over Britain’s future. We were not, according to this glib and ignorant hypothesis, so much losing sovereignty as gaining power. Daily, the disproofs of the daft hypothesis mount.
The public knows this already. It never liked the Common Market, and now it realises that the experiment is a disastrous flop. lt will take time for full realisation of this to sink into party headquarters; it will take it even longer to sink into our most Eurofanatical MPs; it may never sink into this particular Government. But sooner or later there will be a government and a House of Commons united in their determination to restore to themselves (and thus to the people), the powers of decision foolishly and ignorantly ceded by this Government and this Parliament. The sooner such a government is in power the better, for the less difficult will be the unscrambling process. it is not, as the Labour leadership still seeks to pretend, a question of renegotiation. It is a matter of repudiation; and the first party which appeals to the country on a clear policy of repudiating the Treaty of Rome will be rewarded with office by the public whose voice will have at length been heard and heeded.
That realisation took longer – one suspects – than even The Spectator had anticipated.
Interesting that mention of “power”. That was precisely what Lord Heseltine said in an interview with Michael Portillo for a Channel 5 documentary on the EU just a few weeks ago. Did we ever get any?
Also interesting is the talk of “repudiation”. Repudiating a treaty is a big deal but it is not difficult to foresee the circumstances in which a British government might do precisely that.