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Confessions of a Eurosceptic [Hardcover]

David Heathcoat-Amory
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 16.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 May 2012
Few are better placed to write on Britain's relations with the European Union than David Heathcoat-Amory. In describing his own journey from initial enthusiam for a Common Market to rejection of the EU, he gives an insider's view of the delusions and deceits which surround the European question. As a Member of Parliament, Minister of State and Privy Councillor, he witnessed two prime Ministers wresting with the 'elephant in the room'. He describes Margaret Thatcher's struggles against EU control and the clashes with cabinet colleagues which split the Conservative Party and brought her down. Under John Major, David Heathcoat- Amory played a pivotal role in the parliamentary battles over the Maastricht Treaty. As Minister of State for Europe he was intimately involved in keeping Britain out of the euro, thereby avoiding the worst of the current devasting financial crisis. He resigned as Paymaster General in 1996 on a matter of principle.In Opposition, he 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 Blair's government refusing a referendum at home.The book includes a blueprint for a radically new relationship between Britain and the EU. The Author argues that, with leadership and ambition, this is now attainable, with the final decision resting with the people in a referendum.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd (17 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781590486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781590485
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 521,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In his new memoir, Confessions of a Eurosceptic, David Heathcoat-Amory describes frustrating conversations with his then boss of the Treasury, Kenneth Clarke. Clarke would never engage with the arguments about what the single currency entailed. He would simply warn that if the project did not press ahead, 'right-wingers' would win. - Charles Moore, The Spectator.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Someone got it right 25 May 2012
By ann
A good short description of how Europe got into its present mess, my someone who was a government minister at the time (but he resigned). Excellent sketches of some of the guilty men. And some interesting side-stories about his foreign office travels (did you know the Argies tried to bribe the Falkland islanders?). Much better than the usual political memoir, and highly topical.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read' book for all eurosceptics 21 May 2012
By Mark
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the debate over Britain's relationship with the EU. Written by someone right in the thick of it as a minister under Margaret Thatcher, John Major and then as a shadow cabinet minister under William Hague, David Heathcoat-Amory writes with a light touch. He includes enough anecdotes and personal stuff to interest those who just enjoy political biographies. But it is his knowledge and expertise about the ever increasing influence of the EU institutions and British politicians' failure or lack of will to halt this which makes the book stand out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Topical grist to the mill 11 Jun 2012
By henry
This overdue memoir should resonate with the vast majority of like-minded British readers. The author had the guts to put his beliefs before his political career - that is something very rare indeed. As Charles Moore reflected elsewhere, had he not, he might well be in a very senior position in the Government today - they certainly need people like Heathcote-Amory. The trouble is no-one thanks you for being right. This is an insightful book which deserves to be read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit late 7 Jun 2012
This book shows what happens when politicians stop listening to the people they represent. They wanted the euro for their own purposes and look where that has got us. Unemployment and mass demos, and we haven't seen the end of it. At least we escaped the worst of it, and for that we can thank people like the author of this book.
It's also a good account of how parliament works - or doesn't. And it includes some good snippets about Foreign Office life abroad. The book sets out the case for more engagement with the Commonwealth and the English speaking world, just when we are threatened with a Euro disaster. A pity it wasn't published earlier or more importantly that no one would listen to the author. A good read and very educational for those of us who feel we have been well and truly hoodwinked.
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