Handy quotes on the EU to remember while marching for a people’s vote

1. Winston Churchill

“I look forward to a United States of Europe, in which the barriers between the nations will be greatly minimised and unrestricted travel will be possible.”

(21st October 1942 https://eu-rope.ideasoneurope.eu/2013/11/10/winston-churchill-a-founder-of-the-european-union/)

2. Margaret Thatcher

“Just think for a moment what a prospect that is. A single market without barriers — visible or invisible — giving you direct and unhindered access to the purchasing power of over 300 million [now 500m] of the world’s wealthiest and most prosperous people.”

(18th April 1988: Speech opening Single Market Campaign http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/107219)

3. John Major

“Parliament has a duty also to consider the “wellbeing of the people”.”

“I know of no precedent for any Government enacting a policy that will make both our country and our people poorer”.

“So far, the promises have not been met and, probably, cannot be met”.

“It’s as necessary to speak truth to the people, as to power”.

(1st March 2018, Speech at Somerset House


4. David Cameron

“The EU amplifies our power. Brits don’t quit. We get involved. If we left, they’d be making decisions about us, but without us.”

(21st June 2016 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-brexit-latest-live-david-cameron-full-speech-remain-leave-a7093426.html)

5. Theresa May

“If we look at the challenges we will face, of security, trade and the economy – Britain’s prosperity will be more secure if we’re inside the European Union.”

(The Andrew Marr Show, BBC1, 24th April 2016)

6. Boris Johnson

“If we left the EU we would end this sterile debate and we would have to recognise that most of our problems are not caused by Brussels, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low skills and a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capacity and infrastructure.”

(Daily Telegraph, 12th May 2013  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10052646/Quitting-the-EU-wont-solve-our-problems-says-Boris-Johnson.html)

7. David Davis

“If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

(Speech “Europe: It’s Time To Decide”, 19th November 2012

8. Jacob Rees-Mogg

“Indeed, we could have two referendums. As it happens, it might make more sense to have the second referendum after the renegotiation is completed.”

(24th October 2011

 Column 46, National Referendum on the European Union)


9. Tony Blair

“To absent ourselves from the biggest of our markets and the largest political union in the world is an extraordinary self-defeating act if you want this country to remain strong.”

(29th March 2018 at Conference Article 50: One Year On


10. Michael Heseltine

“UK businesses are in despair, and with no option but to consider postponing investment, or moving their money and investment from here to the continent. The downsides are becoming more evident as time passes.”

(2nd March 2018, Interview with The Observer


11. Nick Clegg

“When you win in a democracy you have to take responsibility for delivering the commitment that you made to the British people. May seemed to de-legitimise close on half the voting public. You can’t do that in a mature democracy.”

(9th October 2017 Nick Clegg on BBC1 Breakfast, 8.40 am)

12. James Moore (Chief Business Commentator- The Independent)

“Brexit is an act of economic self-harm.”

(30th January 2018


13. Sir Ivan Rogers (Head of the British representation in Brussels – resigned 3rd January 2017)

“Senior ministers, who will decide on our positions, issue by issue, also need from you detailed, unvarnished – even where this is uncomfortable – and nuanced understanding of the views, interests and incentives of the other 27. I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power.”

(3rd January 2017 Resignation email to his staff


We keep trotting out this phrase “global Britain”. We are diminishing that by removing ourselves from a very helpful trade relationship with 50% of our partners.”

(2nd February 2018, Radio 4 News, 18.07-8)

14. Dr Meredith Crowley, Economist – University of Cambridge:

1. UK firms are able to integrate themselves into cross European supply chains, have their manufacturing networks extend across countries.

2. Large multinationals co-located their investment and jobs in the UK in order to take advantage of the European market.

3. As part of the larger EU trading bloc, the UK was able to extract concessions in negotiating agreements with other countries like China that they might not have been able to extract if they were operating individually.”

(5th February 2018, BBC TV News 18.00)

15. Winston Churchill

“It sometimes happens that the same Government, the same Party have to execute this volte-face. It may be their duty to do so because it is the sole manner of discharging their responsibilities, or because they are the only combination strong enough to do what is needed in the new circumstance.”

(1929 election campaign, Epping– “My Darling Clementine” by Jack Fishman, 1963, P.89)


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