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No Middle Way

June 10th, 1997

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 10th June 1997.

David Heathcoat-Amory is surely right in saying that the Conservative Party must commit itself to finding a different relationship with the EU (article, June 6).  But he fails to follow through his own analysis.

Only repeal of section II of the European Communities Act 1972 which establishes the superiority of European law over British law will make any real difference.  Such repeal would effectively signify our withdrawal from the EU as Mr Heathcoat-Amory would surely recognise: repeal of the Single European Act and the European Communities (Amendment) Act (Maastricht) would logically follow.

It is only from the vantage point of withdrawal that Britain can establish a “position of free trade and co-operation between sovereign states” which as Mr Heathcoat-Amory correctly says so many in the country are waiting for.

But until they abandon their wishful hankering for impossibilities and come out clearly for EU withdrawal, no one will ever again believe Conservative leaders and their vague talk of “new relationships”, “tougher stances”, etc.  What they want is simply not on offer.  There is no middle way between withdrawal and absorption.