Brexit uncertainty has gripped the nation as Prime Minister Theresa May battles to secure a deal that takes Britain out of the bloc. Britons historically voted to leave the EU in June 2016 but the political landscape today has played on Brexiteer fears that the will of the 52 percent could be betrayed. However, many waited years for an opportunity to voice their dissent at the bloc and, as the anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s iconic election victory in 1979 looms, a throwback speech delivered by the Iron Lady could suggest she started Britain’s charge away from Brussels.
In a fiery speech delivered to the College of Europe in 1988, Mrs Thatcher criticised the “new priorities” on display in Brussels and warned against the introduction of collectivism, corporatism and a single currency.
In 2016 Amazon Prime documentary “Margaret Thatcher I will Not Undertake”, her address is described as a landmark moment.
The narrator says: “Her Bruges speech in September 1988 began the process by which the Conservative Party, at one time largely pro-European, became predominantly eurosceptic.”
It came after Jacques Delors, president of the European Commission, urged Britain’s labour movement to embrace a “uniquely European model of society” and support a “platform of guaranteed social rights”.
Margaret Thatcher delivered a passionate speech in Bruges in 1988 (Image: SG/GETTY)
Margaret Thatcher (Image: GETTY)
Margaret Thatcher at an EEC summit (Image: GETTY)
In response, Mrs Thatcher said Europe should focus on competitiveness and deregulation while warning against a “European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels”.
She said: “I want to see us work more closely on the things we can do better together than alone.
“Europe is stronger when we do so, whether it be in trade, in defence or in our relations with the rest of the world.
“But working more closely together does not require power to be centralised in