The French foreign minister said the Irish would be ungrateful if they voted against the Treaty of Nice. When the Irish responded by voting against it, the French president commented simply, “They will have to vote again.” Who do these French planners, these socialist architects of the greater good, who demand Ireland give up her independence, think they are? Is Ireland, whose heroes fought so hard and for so long, going to hand over her freedom so easily and so soon? Can Ireland never be a free and independent nation? Can it never make its own laws? The prospect of Ireland once more becoming an appendage to someone else’s union ought to provoke outrage in anyone with a drop of Irish blood. If a few miserable seats in the House of Commons were never a satisfactory exchange for Irish freedom, then why are a few miserable seats in the European Parliament?

To break free it is necessary to make the European Union an issue which crosses party lines. The main parties should be considered hopelessly compromised. Voters should first ask which of the candidates has vowed withdrawal from the European Union, and only then, from that qualified pool, should candidates be chosen on other issues.

The major parties should be ignored when they promise to slow the integration process. There is no room for equivocation when the stakes are so high. Winston Churchill did not promise to “slow the speed of Nazi integration,” or ensure “Britain got a fair deal”; instead he took an absolute stance against a mortal threat to English liberty.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove