The Conservative Party, elected to power in Britain in June, at its annual conference in Blackpool today (Thursday) voted in favour of Britain seeking entry to the European Economic Community -- the Common Market.
GV Delegates in hall
GV & SV Pro-Marketeers clap
SEQ. 2: WINTERTON: It would be fatal surrender of our national sovereignty and democratic control to unelected community institutions. The concept and position of our monarchy; something that I treasure, would be dramatically altered. (CHEERS) For entry into the Common Market would inevitably lead to a situation where our queen in inferior to a politically motivated European president.
SEQ. 4: RIPPON: In the modern world the concept of complete national independence is a myth. Even in matters which go to the very quick our life as a nation; our defence, our economy, over overseas trade; our freedom of action is already circumscribed. And I'd ask Mr. May and Mr. Rathbone and Mr. Winterton and the conference to remember our obligations to NATO, to the International Monetary Fund, to GATT before seeing the community as some sort of faceless monster which is to swallow our nationhood.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Conservative Party, elected to power in Britain in June, at its annual conference in Blackpool today (Thursday) voted in favour of Britain seeking entry to the European Economic Community -- the Common Market. The party has been committed to membership of the market for some years, but today's vote was the first test of party feeling since negotiations were re-opened on British entry by the former Labour Government.
The debate was emotional, sometimes angry, and party support for entry was decided by a show of hands -- a method of voting objected to by anti-marketeers. They asked for a ballot, but were refused, although about one third of the conference delegate seemed to oppose the idea of entry.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton, of Newcastle-Under-Lyme, attacked the threat Common Market entry would mean to the British monarchy. Queen Elizabeth, he said, would become inferior to a politically motivated European president.
Mr. Geoffrey Rippon, minister in charge of Market negotiations led the argument for British entry. He said the concept of complete national independence in the modern world was a myth.