Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Iron Lady, would be overwhelmed with joy if she could have lived to see her fellow Britons vote to leave the European Union. Thatcher rescued her country by reversing the encroachment of socialism into the U.K.’s economy and spent the latter days her career fighting against political and monetary unification of Europe.
“She was fiercely against monetary and economic union and the euro — and very opposed to political union. She felt Britain would be better off if it kept a distance from all of this,” Thatcher biographer Charles Moore said in a recent Brexit interview.
“During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it,” the former prime minister once said.
Britain’s only female prime minister became famous for her rousing floor speeches, throttling her opponents with a sense of intellectual superiority and wit. In October of 1990, Thatcher gave such a speech to her fellow members of the House of Commons regarding the potential for increasing political ties to the rest of Europe.
“It is our purpose to the power and influence of this house and not to denude them to many of the powers,” she said.
“Of course the chairman of the commission said that he wanted the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the community, he wanted the commission to be the executive, and he wanted the council to be the ministers of the senate. No! No! No!”
“The fact is they have no competence on money, no competence on the economy, so yes, the right honorable gentleman would be glad to hand it all over,” she quipped at one of her Labour colleagues. “And what is the point in trying to get elected to parliament, only to hand over your sterling and to hand over the powers of this house to Europe?”
Today, Lady Thatcher would be quite proud.