Given the likely result of the next general election we are by no means guaranteed a referendum on withdrawal from the EU but already there is a rising tide of propaganda from the usual suspects, desperate that we should remain chained to Brussels. Past Prime Ministers like John Major and Tony Blair, the inevitable senior executive of Nissan, the CBI, trade union leaders, the Liberal Democrats, supposed Conservatives like Kenneth Clarke and of course the BBC are all telling us that we must never contemplate breaking free as it would be a disaster for the country. However we should always remember that it was the same people who were so vociferously in favour of the UK joining the euro, something that even a child can now see would have been an unmitigated catastrophe. The blatant way in which these people just brush aside the fact that they were one hundred per cent wrong and now expect us to listen to their self interested ramblings again would be beyond belief were it not the norm for those who never learn from the past and regard the EU as some sort of religion which must never be questioned.
One of my duties when Chairman of the Campaigning Secretariat of the Campaign for an Independent Britain was to keep cuttings from the major newspapers relating to the issue of the EU so I thought it might be enlightening to pass on some of the choice instances where the europhiles showed their true lack of judgement relating to the euro at the time when it was first introduced. There are many examples but so I will restrict myself to a few, taken from the period just after the launch of the benighted currency.
The GMB union said that the Labour government must firm up government policy on joining while the AEEU joined in in supporting euro membership. The General Secretary of the TUC, said "Britain has lost ground over the euro and sterling will be increasingly vulnerable if it remains outside the single currency".
Not surprisingly New Labour figures like Peter Mandelson, Robin Cook (who declared British membership to be "inevitable"), Stephen Byers and Shaun Woodward were in the forefront of advocating membership, supported by the ever present Clarke and Heseltine duo. The Minister for Europe, Keith Vaz, accused those sections of the media which opposed the EU of "blighting the public debate" because of their "xenophobia". As we all know every pronouncement from the Foreign Office has been in favour of all things connected with the EU and the euro.
A survey by a public relations company, Shandwick International, found that a majority of company chairman, managing directors, financial directors and other executives believed that joining the euro would be good for business, with only 28 per cent dissenting. Leading companies took it upon themselves to begin changing systems for use by the accused currency, prominent among them being Barclays Bank which offered customers accounts in euros, no doubt eagerly taken up by the gullible, some of whom I remember started to demand payment of their salary in euros. Let us hope they succeeded as they must now be regretting it! Marks and Spencer began converting its tills to receive euros while other British employers like Toyota, Unilever and Gillette started issuing invoices in euros. The Virgin boss stated his wish to campaign for British entry to the single currency while Unilever and Rentokil were fervent supporters of the euro.
The president of Nissan, warned that a planned multi million pound expansion at Sunderland was at risk because we were not in the euro while the president of Toshiba said "they did not know if they could hang on until the UK joined the euro". Toyota told British suppliers that it wanted to deal in euros rather than sterling and the president of Matsushita, talked openly about leaving Britain unless we joined the single currency. Don't you love it when Japan, that great example of democracy, seeks to interfere with the sovereignty of the UK?
The DTI backed 'Invest in Britain Bureau' predicted a mass closure of Japanese plants unless Tony Blair declared for euro entry, just before official inward investment figures proved that more, not less, was coming from Japan and others. Even the British Ambassador in Tokyo was found in a leaked memo to be pressing for a more positive attitude to the euro.
One of Britain in Europe's pamphlets, 'The Case for the Euro', included among its authors economists, two well known economic journalists, a former CBI director, and a former Federal Reserve chairman Their dire predictions of the UK economy withering outside the euro have not materialised.
I could go on and on with these quotes and I have not even touched upon those lined up by the BBC to spout their pro euro propaganda as we all know just where the Brussels Broadcasting Company stands on the EU and its useless currency. Sufficient to say that, while a child would not put its hand into a flame twice, total nitwits (as Basil Fawlty would describe them) have learnt nothing from their stupidity and will no doubt be lined up to be cheerleaders for EU membership should the referendum ever happen. We, who have been proved right time and again, must make sure that the public is reminded that the europhiles were totally wrong about the euro and that they should be ignored as being both naive and lacking in judgement.