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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Response to Gordon Brown's euro statement

The Rt Hon. Lord Lamont of Lerwick

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9th JUNE 2003

Statement by Lord Lamont of Lerwick, Co-Chairman of the Bruges Group on the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s statement on the euro. Monday 9th June 2003

Norman Lamont said, “The Tony and Gordon Show has become the longest running non-decision in history – some might call it a farce.

“The Chancellor tried his hardest but wasn’t convincing. Try as he might the Chancellor couldn’t show that the five tests have been satisfied today. If they are not satisfied today they won’t be satisfied in another eighteen months time.

“This weak announcement, lacking in conviction, is the worst of all worlds – a recipe for confusion, lack of confidence, and continued infighting.

“Despite the Prime Minister’s obsession with his place in history there probably won’t be a referendum this Parliament. If there were, the Government wouldn’t win it. The sensible course would have been to do what business wants – make a firm decision.

“The Chancellor’s statement was as significant for what it didn’t say as what it did. Unlike his Budget speech we weren’t given a long list of how much better the British economy was performing than Europe. He didn’t even mention Germany, which faces massive problems made worse by the euro.

“Where the Government is utterly wrong is in portraying this decision as only about economics. It is about much more than money. The real test is the continuing self-government of the UK and democratic accountability. The Government is too frightened and too dishonest to talk about the real test.”

- ENDS -

– NOTES TO EDITORS –
Norman Lamont and representatives of the Bruges Group are available for interviews and quotes on the implications of the euro, the five economic tests and for comment on the current EU debate.