I am deeply grateful to the CAPX site, in general, and Herr (I assume he is a 'Herr) Kai Weiss of the Austrian Economics Centre and the Hayek Institute, in particular, for his excellent essay on this - the 30th anniversary of 'that woman's' speech in Bruges. Given all the mostly useless prats (and 'pratettes') who have run our country since her time, what bliss it was to be reminded of her ferocious intelligence. Looking back, as Herr Weiss suggests, that speech was the beginning of the end of Britain's membership of the EU.
Bruges was a stark warning for Brussels. The Prime Minister had increasingly seen “an inclination towards bureaucratic rather than market solutions to economic problems” and an “overt federalist and protectionist agenda” at the European level. If this were to continue, Thatcher argued, the European project, which had brought many benefits over the years, could fail. In this sense, it was not an argument against the EU. It was an argument to save the EU.
Needless to say, the fanatical 'stoopids' in Brussels ignored her message and here we are today on the brink of exiting - and in my opinion, we will not be the last!
Instead of trying to create a European identity or forging ahead with a federalist European state, regardless of what the populace thinks about it, the EU should promote “willing and active cooperation between independent sovereign states”. To this day, the federalists do not seem to have taken this idea on board.
The most depressing thing about all this is that even if the European apparatchiks get their way and manage to hold the thing together, it will be a union that no-one, except them, will want to live in - and there-in lies even more trouble!
Tonight I will raise a glass to the memory of that truly remarkable woman.