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Britain reduced to a borough council

July 3rd, 1995

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 3rd July 1995.

In contemplating Lord Carr’s appeal for loyalty to Mr Major (June 30th), Conservative MPs should ask themselves what exactly they would be loyal to.  Economic and Monetary Union Stage 3 is not just about abolishing the pound, it is about total loss of control over every significant feature of national economic life.

Protocol 3 of the Maastricht Treaty sets out the basic tasks of the European Central Banks as (i) defining and implementing monetary policy, (ii) undertaking all foreign exchange operations, (iii) holding and managing the official foreign reserves of the Member States.  The latter provision means our handing over gratis all our national reserves of around £28,000 million to a foreign institution, over which, according to Article 7 of Protocol 3, we are specifically barred from having any influence.  Under Article 28, from which we have no opt-out, Britain is committed to paying on Jan. 1st 1999 about £700 million towards the capital needed to establish the European Central Bank.  Furthermore, Article 104c of the treaty provides that should Britain, having signed up to Stage 3, then fail to comply with a decision of the ECB, it can be required “to make a non-interest bearing deposit” or “be subject to fines of suitable size”.

Britain would be left with the financial authority of a charge-capped borough council.  How can any Conservative MP continue to support as Prime Minister someone who is apparently in two minds about whether or not our country should be obliterated as an independent nation?  John Redwood offers a clear break with the Major government’s incomprehension and muddle.