Former Labour minister Tom Harris has come out. Writing in the Telegraph Harris professes his “relief” at being able to admit he’s an EU referendum “outer”, and his happiness at not having to explain his decisions to constituents now he’s no longer an MP.
“I was never a fully paid-up member of the Euro team. Early signs of unsoundness manifested themselves in my outright opposition to British membership of the euro when it was first launched. The whips’ office had its eye on me after I added my signature to a letter, back in 2002, warning the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, to resist committing to abolishing the pound. And once you’ve decided to oppose that central mechanism for the creation of a European superstate, it’s a fairly short step to being painted as “anti-EU”.
To add to the charge sheet: I never bought the piffle about the EU securing peace in Europe. Peace would have broken out after the end of the war anyway; democracies tend not to fight each other, with or without international political alliances. And, on my occasional trips to the European Parliament – either the original one in Strasbourg, or the replacement one a few hundred feet away, or the one in Brussels where it should be based permanently if they had an ounce of sense – I was always a tad suspicious and resentful of the smug certainty of officials and party apparatchiks that Europe was the future and national parliaments were just so last century.”
At last, Harris is on the same page as Jez and John (historically at least)…