Fanatical pro Brussels Tory Lord Heseltine has predicted the UK will end up scrapping the pound and adopting the euro.
In an interview with the BBC the former Deputy Prime Minister rejected the idea that pro-European voices had “lost the argument” within the Conservative party but said he would not advise joining the European Monetary Union “in the foreseeable future.”
And in a damning indictment of UK negotiating with Brussels, he said the country had a history of resisting European integration “at every stage” but always ended up “giving in“.
Lord Heseltine was taking part in a debate on BBC 2’s Daily Politics about the UK’s relationship with Europe alongside UKIP MP Douglas Carswell who defected from the Conservatives in the summer.
He said the reason he and other europhile colleagues did not publicly make the case for EU membership is because “we are torn between loyalty to the party and our own very deep convictions.”
Every Conservative leader he had worked for had “argued passionately” for more integration with the EU, he said, “not because they want to surrender sovereignty but because they want to influence from Britain’s point of view what is happening in Europe”.
And he added: “We will join the euro… it is a very personal view that the establishment party wouldn’t agree with.”
“If I had to parade my conviction, I have lived through every one of these European arguments where we have resisted at every stage the European direction – and at every stage we have at the end given in and joined.”
His comments were seized on by Mr Carswell, who claimed his comments were the “authentic integrationist voice of the Conservative Party establishment.”
And he responded to Lord Heseltine’s claims that the British people wanted to remain in the EU saying, “Maybe it’s the establishment in westminster that gives in, maybe the people want out?”
“We’ve had general election after general election and they have never voted out” Heseltine said, adding “The UKIP will not be anything like as powerful as they are now.”
Mr Carswell, who was elected as the UKIP MP for Clacton in October, said the Conservatives had repeatedly “tried to hoover up votes by sounding sceptic.”
“It’s the establishment, it’s the ministers mandarins who end up going along with ‘more Europe’ despite what they say before elections” he argued. “The people want to leave the European Union.”
Mr Carswell said one of the reasons for his defection to UKIP was the Conservative Party being “on the wrong side of the Europe question for 40 years”.
Lord Heseltine said any victory for UKIP wouldn’t be about the UK’s membership of the EU but about immigration. But Mr Carswell contended that UKIP had topped the poll at the European elections in May, and “convincingly” won two by-elections to Parliament. People wanted “real change.”
This is not the first time the Welshman has caused controversy with his views on the EU. Earlier this year he said that an EU referendum such as one proposed by Mr Cameron, would have a “chilling effect” on business.
And he is not alone in saying that Britain will join the Euro. Former EU Commissioner and Brussels pension holder Peter Mandelson is still a huge supporter for our membership.
British representatives of the ‘European elite’ who still think the single currency is, and could be a success, include Ken Clarke, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander.