Sir: Polly Toynbee is absolutely right when she writes that the pro-Europeans have let down the case for full British participation in Europe ("Who will come out fighting for Europe?", 10 May). It is true that most pro- Europeans, including the European Movement, had thought the basic argument for British membership of the European Union had been won.
We have learnt that lesson and are organising the fight back. In particular, the European Movement plans to relaunch shortly the "Britain in Europe" campaign that served so brilliantly as the rallying point for pro-Europeans in the 1975 referendum, at a time, too when, let it never be forgotten, public opinion was supposed to be anti-European, before voting for British membership by a two-to-one majority.
Where Polly Toynbee is seriously wrong is her suggestion that the European Movement suffers from "cross-party tensions" and that Labour, in the form of one of its MPs, has "taken over" the European Movement. Giles Radice MP was unanimously elected chairman with all-party support. He succeeds a Conservative who also had all party backing. A new team of vice-chairs is being established that will reflect the all-party nature of the European Movement. Our cross-party support is a source of strength, not weakness, and it will help us to lead the campaign for Britain to be a leading member of the European Union.
European Movement, UK
10 MayReuse content