Margaret Thatcher’s final Q & A in the House of Commons

22 November 2011

On the 22nd November 1990 Margaret Thatcher took questions in the House of Commons for the last time.

The transcript is here.

Unfortunately, the British didn’t heed Mrs. Thatcher’s advice a few weeks earlier when she said, “no, no, no” to a European Union and its policy of single currency. This is a heavily-edited version of her 30 October 1990 statement to the House of Commons on the subject of the European Council meeting at Rome held days earlier.

Further background about the Council’s meeting can be read here.

Read also, The moment a dead sheep fatally wounded our warrior queen, Margaret Thatcher, at The Telegraph.

…in the end it was Europe, not the poll tax, that brought her down. The final drama was played out between the Rome summit of October 27-28, and Paris summit of November 18-20. While she was attending the first, Geoffrey Howe told Brian Walden that the government “did not oppose the principle of a single currency” – the position of neither the party, nor its leader. Indeed, when I then criticised the single currency in the Commons, she readily agreed, adding: “This government believes in the pound sterling.”

As if that wasn’t enough, she then uttered perhaps the most famous (and, in the end, self-destructive words) in her career: “No, No, No.” The repetition was not just for emphasis. This meant “no” to each element of Jacques Delors’s blueprint for integration: no to a more powerful European Parliament, no to a strengthened European Council, no to an overweening European Commission.

It was this intransigence that made her downfall a prime objective of her enemies in Paris, Berlin and Brussels…

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