Eurosceptic Member of Parliament and former Shadow Secretary of State John Redwood has blasted the U.S. political establishment for its interventions against what he calls Britain’s “war of independence” from Brussels.
Speaking at a Bow Group think tank event in Westminster last night, Mr. Redwood turned his fire of U.S. President Barack Obama for his pro-European Union (EU) statements, declaring: “Those of you who are our guests from America try and explain to your president that we are fighting our war of independence.”
Mr. Redwood was speaking alongside former Ronald Reagan Executive Assistant Peggy Grande, who also spoke about the importance of a free United States and United Kingdom leading the charge for democratic rights and individual liberties the world over.
Mr. Redwood commented: “Fortunately we don’t have to fight [our war with the EU] with muskets and cannon but we are fighting it through this referendum and we wish to have our democracy back. Our right of self government has been gravely damaged by our membership in the European Union. Those rights that we thought were inalienable and are part of the pursuit of happiness and the development of freedom have been taken away from us and given to Brussels bureaucrats.
“We now have to broker our laws with 27 other countries,” he noted. “We now have to send large sums of money to the European Union we don’t get back which they choose to spend. We run a kind of overseas aid system to rich countries on the continent of Europe and why are we doing that? We would like to spend that money ourselves on our priorities and we are very conscious our defence alliance needs America and needs NATO and not the European Union which is trying to supplant that and creating a wedge between natural allies across the atlantic who have often made common cause.
Speaking on the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, he said: “The United States should either stay neutral, or they should be on the right side. And on this occasion the right side, as Ronnie [Reagan] and Margret [Thatcher] would tell you if they were standing here today would be to be on the side of freedom, of independence, of our long tradition of self government and accountable government. We are having all over again to battle for that, just as Ronnie and Margaret had to battle in different ways in the era of their great common working.
And then he turned his fire on those who now suggest that because Mrs. Thatcher campaigned for Britain to join the European Economic Community in 1974, that she would be in favour of the European Union of today.
“[T]here has been a great, mischievous attempt recently to suggest that Margaret Thatcher would have wanted to stay in the European Union had she still been with us.
“I, and others, who have talked to her about this in her later years can absolutely assure you that in her own words she had got to the point, long before she died, that she felt we had to leave for the reasons I’ve just described.
“So to be true to her legacy for Britain we need out. To be true to our shared legacy we need to make sure the next prime minister and the next president have the kind of relationship that Thatcher and Reagan had because it was world-beating, and it meant that things we all believe in here had much greater prominence and much greater success.”
A petition to keep President Obama away from Britain’s internal EU debate has now reached over 31,000 signatures, and his interventions on the matter have drawn ire from leading Eurosceptic campaigners.