The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, threatens the European Court of Justice with the UK's withdrawal from the European Union

Robert Oulds

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, 31st MARCH 2004

Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, threatens the European Court of Justice with the UK's withdrawal from the European Union

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, 30th March 2004 Jack Straw envisaged that the UK may withdraw from the European Union if it follows through with its policies to standardise health care provision.

Following on from the Bruges Group's research warning that the European Union will standardise health care Labour MP Gwyneth Dunwoody asked Jack Straw,

"If, in the course of demands for harmonisation, it was decided that the principle that the national health service should be free at the point of use was incompatible with health systems throughout the Community, which rely almost entirely on insurance-based schemes that are differently organised so that up-front payment is essential, would we be able to retain our system, or would we be told that it was incompatible owing to European law?"

In response he replied that,

"Let me be clear, however, that if the European Court of Justice sought to do that, there would be a political crisis that would affect our membership of the European Union and be a matter for concern for all Members on both sides of the House."

This follows the revelation in the Bruges Group's latest pamphlet on the EU Constitution that the NHS is, indeed, under threat.

Jack Straw was a strident campaigner to quit the EEC in 1975. Is he returning to his roots? Do we see a split in the Government developing? Will this be the final straw?