Margaret Thatcher's 1988 "Bruges Speech" Explains Why Brits Should Brexit

Tyler Durden's picture

As establishment blowback strikes following over 300 European business leaders call for the British to vote to leave the EU, it is worth remembering Margaret Thatcher’s historic speech, known as the “The Bruges Speech” delivered September 20th, 1988, in which she rejects the political union of Europe and "the federalization of Europe."

Famously rejecting the centralised, unaccountable, federal Europe of Delors, Margaret Thatcher proposed instead a wider, decentralised, outward-looking democratic Europe of independent, freely- trading and cooperating nation states:

“I want to start by disposing of some myths about my country, Britain, and its relationship with Europe and to do that, I must say something about the identity of Europe itself... Europe is not the creation of the Treaty of Rome... Nor is the European idea the property of any group or institution.

Powerful stuff... but we are sure Cameron would suggest The Iron Lady was being "divisive and stupid"...

h/t Martin Armstrong


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hedgeless_horseman's picture



Thank God she is dead.

This was one evil human.

Looney's picture

Fuck the EU!

Victoria Nuland

(ain’t it ironic?)   ;-)

hedgeless_horseman's picture



"Nor is the European idea the property of any group or institution.”

Except for Ireland?

Eirik Magnus Larssen's picture

Margaret Thatcher, along with Ayn Rand, are among the most unappealing women in living memory. Both on the inside and on the outside.

Dr. Engali's picture

Coming from the man who has a secret desire to go muff diving on Shillary.

38BWD22's picture



Many of us are with you, Britain.  Leave the UK, make voluntary deals with countries who share your values (with luck, like the USA) and do not sucumb to the Overlords in Brussels.

The UK can show us the way.  Screw the NWO.  Leave our peoples free.

Maggie should have gotten a Nobel Prize for saving her country.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Maggie should have gotten a Nobel Prize for saving her country.

Sure, considering that how she saved Britain from Ireland is equivalent to how Obama is saving the US from its vassal states of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, and how Bibi is saving Israel from Palestine.

Kool-Aid and Nobel Peace Prizes for all!

38BWD22's picture



The other one, IMO, who should have gotten a Nobel Prize for saving his country was Alberto Fujimori.  Peru was in a very bad place....  The UK is free of its terrible Socialist disaster.  Things were very bad there in the UK pre-Thatcher you may remember.

Ireland is now free.  The UK abused it sure, of course (and that was going on for centuries), but now even Northern Ireland is free.

Every country has been abused by its neighbors and by its elites.  Look at Ireland NOW, it is a better place than before.

[NOT saying Obama is a peaceful guy, worthy of anything good, IMO Obama is a much worse person than Thatcher]


Peace, brother. We may differ here, but I respect your work.  

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Do you mean Iceland?

Ireland isn't free.

Ireland is a debt-slave colony of the London banks.

38BWD22's picture



I hope to visit Ireland sometime soon.  I will pass along my impressions and any info I pick up from locals I speak to.

There is no doubt that the UK is a better place now than under the Socialists they had before.

It may be time for Ireland to attempt real freedom.  Real freedom includes getting free of the banks, as well as losing their resentments.

Bokkenrijder's picture

Margareth Thatcher's famous words about the EU and the single currency: "no no no!"

mtl4's picture

Just visited Ireland last summer and will be going again this year.  First of all Ireland is half Euro and half pound so the views in each part you visit will be very different indeed.  Interesting part is that they are quite used to dealing with violent differences between groups so any EU induced immigrant invasions probably won't move the needle much either.  You still get the feeling that despite the lush green countryside and cute european villages those feelings are still quite deeply rooted even to this day.

French Frog's picture

Most people who don't agree with Thatcher outside the UK are people who do not have a clue how bad the UK had become from the late 70s onwards. I left Mitterand/socialist/communist France in '84 and I saw the transformation over the following years.

In 32 years in London, I can genuinely say that there has not been a time as good as the late 80s/early 90s and most people who have lived and worked through that period agree. Rather than trying to lower the bar and make everybody equal (I hoped that by now most ZH readers had acknowledged that dividing wealth did not actually increase it overall, alas not), the standard of living for most had drastically gone up.

Yes issues like the Miners' strike & union power could have been handled better (I can already hear: "that's the understatement of the year") but surely most realise that asking taxpayers to pay/subsidise an entirely unprofitable and dying coal sector is unworkable in the long term. Recent history has shown in the US that doing the same for the banks, the auto sector and mortgage companies does not yield any result apart from more wasted money.

Sandmann's picture

They have armed police just like in London

hound dog vigilante's picture



"Ireland is a debt-slave colony of the London banks."

Correct. And this is Britain's (or Thatcher's) fault?

The Irish have had multiple opportunities to re-claim their sovereignty... quite recently, in fact.  But the Irish have INSISTED on being/remaining a vassal state, and I fail to see how such stupidity is the fault of anyone but the Irish people themselves...

Lovely country, stupid electorate.


hedgeless_horseman's picture



But the Irish have INSISTED on being/remaining a vassal state, and I fail to see how such stupidity is the fault of anyone but the Irish people themselves

The Irish insisted?

I am sure that the Irish people would have much preferred to keep the Hedge Schools or Catholic schools.

The Penal Laws targeted education by the Catholic religious orders, whose wealthier establishments were sometimes confiscated. The laws aimed to force Irish Catholics of the middle classes and gentry to convert to Anglicanism if they wanted a good education in Ireland.

As for today, all nations will eventually face the consequences of giving up freedom for perceived security.


Thoresen's picture

@ HH,
If De Valera had accepted Churchill's wartime offer of the UK giving Northern Ireland to the Republic then all the later unrest would have been an all Ireland problem not involving the UK.
But De Valera declined, possibly because he thought the deal unnecessary if Hitler was to win WWII. The Irish (or their leaders) are not entirely innocent parties in what followed in the 1980s.

Sandmann's picture

Simply untrue. Northern Ireland was essential to Britain because of Short Bros. in Belfast and the soldiers of Northern Ireland. Plus which many of the leading British Generals like Montgomery were Anglo-Irish

Dr. Engali's picture

The same values as us? Have you seen London's new mayor? Oops never mind. All hail president Obama.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Thatcher proposed instead a wider, decentralised, outward-looking democratic Europe of independent, freely- trading and cooperating nation states


Thatcher refused to recognise the right of [Irish] citizens to vote for representatives of their choice. She famously changed the law after Bobby Sands was elected in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Who's Propaganda are you going to believe?

1.  Read Propaganda, by Edward Bernays.

Jubal Early's picture

I haven't revisited the Thatcher legacy since I had my awakening several years ago.  So your beef with Thatcher is because of Northern Ireland?  Is that all?  Or is it because you are Catholic?  Please elaborate...

hedgeless_horseman's picture



I am not a Catholic, nor do I subscribe to the propaganda that British occupation of Ireland began because of religion anymore than I subscribe to the propaganda that America's War Between The States began because of slavery.

My beef with her is that she was a murderous, warring, fascist of the highest order.

Jubal Early's picture

Hmmm.  But what sets her apart from any other British PM or US president for such scorn.  There was the Falklands, the cold war, Northern Ireland.  Most of the colonies were disposed of, and England was pretty broke at that point in time.

So what makes her worse than any other PM of England or President of the US over the last century or two?  I still don't get it.  Can't you be more specific?

Was she worse than say Bush 1? or Nixon? Clinton?  or Blair?  or Cameron?

hedgeless_horseman's picture



 I still don't get it.  Can't you be more specific?

I value truth.

hound dog vigilante's picture


Here's some truth...


The Irish could've told the London banks to go to hell.  The Irish could've restored Irish currency & monetary sovereignty. The Irish could've escaped europe & the EU.

But instead, the Irish have voted (multiple times) to remain slaves.


You will find it very difficult to solicit sympathy (here or elsewhere) for a country/people voluntarily vote to maintain their own serfdom.

smc1982's picture

Actually we voted no to the lisbon treaty the first time.  They kept coming back to us until we gave the correct answer.

I still voted no but people gave into fear, then the economy crashed anyway.

Jubal Early's picture

Are you so certain that you value truth more than me?  I read your comments and posts because from experience I think I can usually find truth in them.  I am trying to understand, to get to the truth.

Thatcher didn't make £150,000 speaches after she left office.  She didn't get a position on the board of for Lloyds or HSBC.  I don't think you can pin the mass muslim immigration on her.  My impression is that she was more "true" to her principles than say, Reagan.  Okay, she tried to perpetuate what remained of the evil Zio-British empire and she didn't extinguish millions of Zio-British lies with the truth.

But I still don't understand your visceral reaction.

Jubal Early's picture

okay, I get it.  Your truth is its personal.  

Thats fine, just don't lie to us and claim that her crimes are beyond the pale because she stood behind the protestants of N. Ireland  

JohninMK's picture

Nice use of of an Irish originated phrase, beyond the pale.

Jubal Early's picture

I had to verify what you said.  I though it originated from the "pale of settlement" in czarist russia.

Misean's picture

"My beef with her is that she was a murderous, warring, fascist of the highest order."

Truth and hyperbolee are a bit of a tough couple. Comparable to Stalin's 30+million? PolPot? Mao's great leep forward (how many 10's of millions there)??? Heck I doubt the body count even matches Clinton's mideast/yugoslavia rampage.

And I won't even get into the millenial long frictions of the Irish/Celtic Catholics vs. Roman Catholics dating from the Viking era, the ingrained attitudes, centuries long, nor how the Anglicans exploited those feelings....supporting losers in wars with neighbors can have blowback. Thatcher was hardly responsible for that.

Not making an excuse, but surely you are over stating the case. Whatever drives your hatetred it must TRULY be something else.

Jubal Early's picture

Well put.  Thank you Misean.

Theonewhoknows's picture

Thank you for your opinion. I guess you don't know who John Galt is? 

mary mary's picture

They always say "murdered by Christians" when they should have said "murdered by the Vatican".

SmackDaddy's picture

lol.  yeah, both fake "conservative" subversives.  one a dirty joo. the other a a joo-lover.

Silky Johnson's picture

An old whore of the cold war.


38BWD22's picture



The war which she, Carol Woyitla, GHW Bush and Reagan won.

That's won, they were not losers like we have had since.

researchfix's picture

Seems like ´bout 30 years ago she was already smarter than that Merkel person.

Greendawg's picture

Both.   Regardless of her intelligence she will go down in history as the pedo protector.

innocent observer's picture

she didn't want to join europe, she wanted to rule it.

Jubal Early's picture

Not likely at that point in time, England was flat broke after decades of welfare state socialism. England couldn't even take on Argentina without massive help from Reagan.

French Frog's picture

Yeah, socialist and whatnot always like to forget that fact: broke policies for a decade broke Britain's back in the late 70s but just like Maduro these days, it's always everybody else's fault. It works great when oil is at $100+ a barrel and you can promise anything to everybody to get elected and make people believe that socialism works while you can just sit on your arse all day and be non-productive.

Oil goes down to $30 and suddenly a whole country collapses: whether it's oil for Venezuela/Middle-east, welfare/handouts for western democracies, eventually they will always run out of other people's money...