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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The Nice Treaty

Extracts of a speech to the Bruges Group on the Treaty of Nice

The Rt Hon. John Redwood MP

"The proposed Nice Treaty would do what Guy Fawkes failed to do - blow up parliamentary government in Britain. Conservatives must pledge to oppose it lock, stock and barrel, and renegotiate it if Labour signs.

"The new Treaty the EU is proposing to sign at Nice this December will create a United States of Europe. The Commission and the European Parliament are out to establish a powerful European government in Brussels. This week the UK approved their 84 point action programme to control agriculture and food. At Nice they are not just after our money - they want to take away our right to independent action in just about every area.

"They want a European army, European taxation, European frontiers and immigration policy, European criminal justice policy. In short, they want a superstate.

"Our government has no influence over this process. It denies it is happening. It is too weak to say "No" to the flagrant power grab from Brussels.

"Tony Blair says he will keep our veto over taxation - whilst negotiating over a European energy tax, European savings tax, European bans on lower levels of company tax, a European art market tax - and proposals to let the EU collect the VAT and decide how much we should receive back.

"Tony Blair says he opposes a United States of Europe, whilst the Foreign Secretary is ready to surrender our veto in many areas. Once the veto has gone, there can be no independent British policy or position.

"Tony Blair says he believes in NATO, yet he is keen to set up a separate EU force. As the President of the Commission memorably said, 'you can call it what you like but it will be a European army'. Their aim is to be able to send British troops into battle even where Britain has said "No" and lost the vote.

"The government says the Treaty of Nice is just tidying up the 'left-overs from Amsterdam'. Yet if you read the Commission draft Treaty or the European Parliament's demands, you can see this is a revolutionary constitutional document. It is dynamite to the Mother of Parliaments. It aims to do by stealth and words what Guy Fawkes failed to do with gunpowder." - Rt Hon John Redwood MP

- ENDS -

For further information please contact:

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