David Heathcoat-Amory was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he worked for the British Electric Traction Co. and the British Technology Group. He served as the Conservative MP for Wells between 1983 and 2010. David was a Minister in the Departments of the Environment, Energy, the Whips Office, the Foreign Office, and the Treasury. In 1996, he was appointed Paymaster General and a member of the Privy Council, but resigned from the government over the issue of Europe. He was later a member of the Shadow Cabinet and a House of Commons delegate to the Convention on the Future of Europe.
CONFESSIONS OF A EUROSCEPTIC
Confessions of a Eurosceptic is the personal story of an MP whose initial enthusiasm for the Common Market turned to hostility, leading to his resignation as a minister and a campaign against the single European currency.
David Heathcoat-Amory witnessed Margaret Thatcher’s struggles against EU control, and how her clashes with cabinet colleagues eventually brought her down. As a minister in John Major’s government, in the Whips Office, as Minister for Europe in the Foreign Office, and in the Treasury, he took part in the events which split the Conservative Party, including the parliamentary battles over the Maastricht Treaty and the bitterly contested question of EU finance.
In 1996, he resigned as Paymaster General, and the book gives the reasons, describes the protagonists, and gives an insider’s view of the events which kept Britain out of the euro, but led to the the eurozone crisis of today.
In opposition, David Heathcoat-Amory was sent by the House of Commons to negotiate a Constitution for Europe, which he opposed with a small group of dissidents from other EU countries. As they predicted, the European Constitution was decisively rejected in referendums in France and Holland, but was forced through anyway, with the British Government refusing a referendum at home.
The book includes a plan for a radically new relationship between Britain and the EU, based on the principles of democracy, internationalism and free trade. With leadership and ambition, this is now attainable, with the final decision resting with the people in the promised referendum.
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PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
PUBLICATION DATE: May 2012