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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Referendum Promises

  • "Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations." — David Cameron MP, The Sun, 26th September 2007
  • "Nothing will do more damage to the pro-European movement than giving room to the suspicion that we have something to hide, that we do not have the "cojones" to carry our argument to the people." — Nick Clegg, the Guardian, 15th October 2003
  • "The electorate should be asked for their opinion when all our questions have been answered, when all the details are known, when the legislation has been finally tempered and scrutinised." — Rt Hon. Tony Blair MP, speech to the House of Commons, 20th April 2004
  • "This constitutional treaty can only come into force once it has been ratified in accordance with the constitutional arrangements of each member state. In the UK, this will require primary legislation amending the European Communities Act 1972 and then endorsement in a referendum." — Rt Hon. Jack Straw MP, Foreign Secretary, speech to the House of Commons, 26th January 2005
  • "The Government have made it clear that the constitutional treaty will be ratified in the UK only after a referendum." — Geoff Hoon MP, Europe Minister, speech to the House of Commons, 23rd May 2006
  • "There is no question of any constitutional treaty going through without the express consent of the British people . . . Regardless of how other members vote, we will have a referendum on the subject." — Rt Hon. Tony Blair MP, Prime Minister, speech to the House of Commons, 21st June 2004
  • "The Government have consistently made it clear that the mechanism in the United Kingdom whereby the European draft constitutional treaty could be implemented is approval by the House of Commons followed by a referendum of the people of Britain. There is no question of implementing it by the back door." — Douglas Alexander, Europe Minister, speech to the House of Commons, 31st January 2006
  • "The EU's constitution is so new and large a document that it would be right to hold a referendum on it. " — Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Danish Prime Minister, EU Observer, 31st May 2003
  • "I am logically in favour of a referendum. It would be the only legitimate way. " — Jacques Chirac, French President, speaking about the EU Constitution at the EU Thessaloniki Summit, 21st-22nd June 2003
  • "The referendum should go ahead in any event. Of course it should." — Rt Hon. Tony Blair MP, Prime Minister, speech to the House of Commons, 20th April 2004
  • "It is absolutely clear that there should be a referendum on the European constitutional treaty, and that remains the Government's position." — Geoff Hoon MP, Europe Minister, speech to the House of Commons, 16th January 2007
  • "We will put it to the British people in a referendum." — Gordon Brown, General Election Manifesto, 2005
  • "... ratification must be subject to a referendum of the British people." — Liberal Democrat Party, General Election Manifesto, 2005